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Australia’s Privacy Awareness Week: Privacy is a Two-Way Street

Privacy is an inherent part of being human. To protect our privacy, we build fences around our backyards, but we also have fences to respect our neighbor’s privacy. When thinking about data, we need to think about protecting personal information by building a ‘digital’ fence. This step is critical to reducing the risk of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands. It’s time to brush up on how to protect our privacy, neighbors included.  

We have partnered with Australia’s Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) to help bring awareness to the importance of protecting information, whether it’s your own or others because privacy is a two-way street.

In this digital age, the lines begin to blur when we are dealing with another person’s privacy. According to the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner, “Information privacy relates to an individual’s ability to determine for themselves when, how, and for what purpose others handle their personal information.”

Not only are we responsible for protecting our privacy, but we are also responsible for protecting the privacy of others. With the rise of social media and wanting to document every facet of our lives, we might start to neglect privacy as a whole.  

For example, when you share a group photo, you might not consider whether someone in that photo wants their picture shared. When you take that relaxing 7-day vacation to Cozumel and tag the photo of you and your friends hanging out by the beach, you are inadvertently sharing the information and location of everyone involved. You may think it’s fine to share that you’re out on vacation and away from your home, but others might not—especially if your settings are not set to private.

Here are a few tips to reboot your privacy from PAW:

  • Check and update your privacy controls—on apps and social media.
  • Consider the alternative when giving or asking for personal information.
  • Delete your browser cache and any data from old devices and securely destroy personal information with a document shredder if it’s no longer needed for legal purposes.

When you share personal information online, it is open for the world to see (privacy settings locked down and all). Before you share, it’s vital to remember and ask yourself, “would I want this to fall into the wrong hands?” Unsavory characters troll social media sites, and your digital home could end up getting broken into thanks to your login credentials being compromised (passwords on sticky notes in your home is not safe), leading to a credential stuffing attack. Even if your social media privacy settings are locked down, the friends you are tagging might not be.

Use your best judgment when sharing online. Be an advocate for privacy – your own and others. You look both ways before you cross a street, that same logic applies when posting online. It’s your best bet to staying secure.