How secure is your information? Who has your details? And what do they do with it?
In the UK our data is overseen by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) who say: "We live in a data-driven world. Almost every transaction and interaction you have with most organisations involves you sharing personal data, such as your name, address and birth date. You share data online too, every time you visit a website, search for or buy something, use social media or send an email.
Sharing data helps makes life easier, more convenient and connected. But your data is your data. It belongs to you so it's important your data is used only in ways you would reasonably expect, and that it stays safe. Data protection law makes sure everyone’s data is used properly and legally." This covers all your data not just that which you share online but any time you hand over your name and address for anything, from signing up to a newsletter to applying for a job and includes times you weren't aware you were doing so, such as paying by credit card or using a loyalty card in a shop.
However, it is online that your data is most at risk and the ICO has a series of guides about to protect your data and devices online, read these here.
Make sure your data is secure by looking for the green padlock in your web browser address bar; 🠝 up there, next to the address, you should see this every time you enter any details into any form or any website. If you don't then check again.
It's also worthwhile familiarising yourself with the many ways scammers can try to gain your details or even extort money from you as this report from the BBC last year shows: What happened with sextortion scammers targeted a BBC reporter.
GDPR (remember last year all the please opt in emails?) which is supposed to hand control of your data back to you isn't working quite as intended, all those pop up 'I agree' boxes are part of this but do you check what you're agreeing to? And have you tried opting out? It's not easy. Last year Sabrina Rau of the University of Essex wrote this article: Those pop-up ‘I agree’ boxes aren’t just annoying – they’re potentially dangerous on The Conversation.
There's more in our blog post from last October which was for cyber security week, read this here.
And see every post on our blog which includes something about data protection by clicking on the tag.