Basics: Protect Your Privacy

In addition to practicing good general IT security, take these steps to help preserve your privacy:

Know and Update Your Privacy Settings

Choose your own privacy settings instead of accepting the default ones.

Learn about and choose your own privacy settings instead of accepting the default settings of devices or applications. StaySafeOnline's Managing Your Privacy has great tips and resources on privacy, including how to update your privacy settings for many popular apps and services

Consider using private web browsers or browser settings.

Turn off/restrict Bluetooth, AirDrop, and other connections when you aren't using them.

Turn off Bluetooth and other connections when you aren't using them, and limit access via Mac/iOS AirDrop. This helps you save your battery charge and protects you from unwanted material. Subway riders in New York City, for example,  have reported receiving unsolicited nude images over open AirDrop connections. You can restrict AirDrop shares to your contacts (the default setting) or turn off the feature entirely. See How to Prevent Unsolicited AirDrops to Your Apple Device (Mac Rumors, 7/23/19) and How to secure AirDrop on your iPhone to prevent unwanted photos on the subway (MacInsider, 8/15/17).

Choose What You Share and Where You Share It

Only share what you are comfortable sharing.

If someone, such as a cashier at a store, asks for information such as your phone number, you can ask why they need it and can often say that you prefer not to provide it.

Be skeptical when you are offered rewards or discounts in exchange for your personal information. Consider the value of your privacy preferences versus the rewards or discounts.

Store and share sensitive data securely.

Check the Sensitive Data Guide to learn where to safely store and share different types of sensitive university data. Do not, for example, store such data in OneDrive (included in Microsoft Office 365), Apple iCloud, DropBox, EverNote, or other commercial cloud storage services that the university does not have Business Associates Agreements with.

Check the Information Gathered About You

Look for and read privacy policies, especially when disclosing data about yourself.

Get your free credit report, and challenge any inaccuracies you find in it.

Beware of Attempts to Steal Your Personal Information

Beware of phishing.

Do not open attachments in email or click suspicious links. You can hover your curser over links in email to reveal the URL to be sure it is safe before clicking it. See Phishing Examples: What to Watch For.

Look for https at the beginning of the URL or web address when making purchases or sharing data on the web.

Privacy Resources and News

Data Protection and Cybersecurity Guide for College Students. A guide from on best practices for protecting personal data and identity.

The Privacy Project from The New York TimesEducation and advice on protecting your privacy.

Privacy News from Safe Computing. See a list of news stories about privacy recommended by Information Assurance staff.

Unhackable. A series of articles from CNN Business about personal privacy and data security.