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Worrying about privacy isn’t enough – Here’s how to own your online presence

Created: 2017-02-01 00:00:00

Worrying about privacy isn’t enough – Here’s how to own your online presence

“Who has access to my data?” If you’ve asked yourself this question and can’t help but feel concerned, you are in line with the current public mood. 

According to a National Cyber Security Alliance study from 2016, more than 90% of American internet users worry to some extent about their data privacy. For almost 70% of the surveyed Americans, their number one concern is the lack of control over the information they have posted online. Even more so in connection to social media – an alarming 96% of respondents of a recent poll said they don’t much trust that the services will protect what they’ve shared. 

Similarly, for nine out of ten European citizens, the confidentiality of their personal information, online communication and behaviour is an important issue, as shown in the recent Eurobarometer on ePrivacy.

The reactions to the newly publicized Whatsapp vulnerability only continue to prove just how strongly this topic resonates with both end users and security experts. 

What better time to take a closer look at the issue than on the occasion of the international Data Privacy Day – a global initiative dedicated to promoting a culture of privacy awareness in an increasingly digital world. 

Here are a few tips to match your online safety to your concerns:

Lock down your data by creating strong passwords or passphrases and make a habit of frequently changing them. Never use the same password for multiple services. In the ideal case, your password-protected accounts are kept safer by introducing an additional factor into your login routine. This extra layer can be something you know, have, or are – think pin codes, smartphone login approvals, security tokens or fingerprint authentication. 

To own your online presence, periodically review your privacy settings on web services and social media accounts and adjust these selectively with regard to data sensitivity. If enabled by the medium, keep track of who sees what by splitting your social circle into categories with individual settings. 

When browsing (official) app stores, make sure to get to know the app permissions before downloading or updating. Instead of blindly accepting the terms you’re confronted with, weigh out your potential losses and gains. If in doubt, read what other users have to say in their reviews. 

Whatever your preferred means of expression on the internet are, it is important to be aware of their possible consequences. Be your own strict editor and only allow yourself to post, like, share, comment in a way that won’t make things awkward for you if taken out of context.  

If you’re faced with tempting offers requiring immediate action, stop and think about their source and conditions. If something on the internet sounds too good to be true – be it unrealistic contest campaigns or “magical” popularity boosting apps – it most probably are. 

Finally, don’t be selfish with your data privacy efforts, instead apply them just as thoughtfully when sharing information that concerns others. 

Although different groups of people are prone to different kinds of unsafe online behaviour, the need for greater awareness as first step towards improvement is universal. To support the endeavours of Data Privacy Day, we encourage you to pass these tips on to your family and friends. 

About Version 2 Limited

Version 2 Limited is one of the most dynamic IT companies in Asia. The company develops and distributes IT products for Internet and IP-based networks, including communication systems, Internet software, security, network, and media products. Through an extensive network of channels, point of sales, resellers, and partnership companies, Version 2 Limited offers quality products and services which are highly acclaimed in the market. Its customers cover a wide spectrum which include Global 1000 enterprises, regional listed companies, public utilities, Government, a vast number of successful SMEs, and consumers in various Asian cities.

About ESET

Founded in 1992, ESET is a global provider of security software for enterprises and consumers. ESET’s award-winning, antivirus software system, NOD32, provides real-time protection from known and unknown viruses, spyware, rootkits and other malware. ESET NOD32 offers the smallest, fastest and most advanced protection available, with more Virus Bulletin 100 Awards than any other antivirus product. ESET was named to Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 five years running, and has an extensive partner network, including corporations like Canon, Dell and Microsoft. ESET has offices in Bratislava, SK; Bristol, U.K.; Buenos Aires, AR; Prague, CZ; San Diego, USA; and is represented worldwide in more than 100 countries.




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