Data Privacy Day: Control Your Cookies

4 practical tips on how to protect your privacy on cloud.

“We value your privacy”. Here comes the pop-up message as you open a new tab. Do these consents actually make a difference? According to a survey by McAfee, more than 40% of people worldwide feel they do not have enough control over their personal data in cyberspace. With almost half the worldwide population feeling skeptical about their personal data, it is critical for us to learn the importance of protecting your privacy and respecting the privacy of others.

Personal data is often referred to as confidential information that can be used to identify or recognise a person, ranging from general information like email addresses to credentials such as  credit card information. However, in today’s technologically advanced age, it is important to know that personal data is no longer limited to just letters and numbers. In fact, with the invention of the biometric information, your facial and voice recognition in your iPhone and Alexa, can also pose a threat to your privacy.

As scary as it sounds, almost every transaction that you make involves your personal data. While there has been an increasing amount of regulations such as GDPR and CCPA to protect the consumer, these regulations are unable to shield your personal data from endless malicious attacks. They merely set boundaries and limits as to how your personal data should be handled and distributed. 

 

Privacy in the Cloud 

Believe it or not, all of us engage in cloud computing directly or indirectly. Cloud computing is an on-demand service which allows people to share important data and resources in the cloud at an affordable cost and at greater convenience. It has been used by many social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp.

Having your private credentials stored in the cloud puts you in a vulnerable position that is susceptible to cyber attacks and this threat cannot be completely eliminated by simply quitting social media and online shopping. Let’s just say, it is impractical to do so. 

 

Today on Data Privacy Day, we have included 4 tips to make sure you are in control of your personal information.

1. Use strong unique passwords for all your digital devices and change them regularly

A strong unique password protects you from malicious cyber attacks, as cyber threat actors often try to guess your password or use a technique called brute forcing to identify the correct password. Having a strong password significantly minimise your chance of being hacked. A strong unique password contains at least 10 characters and includes a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols and is unique to one account. 

2. Check the privacy and sharing settings of your social media accounts

Take control of your social media accounts. Ensure that your profile is private so that you will not be exposing too much of your personal information to the whole world, without realising. 

3. Understand how devices may be tracking your location

If you think turning off your location service is enough, think again. Everytime you attempt to get a weather forecast or open a browser on your mobile phone, your location is being tracked by Google. To stop Google from tracking your personal location, you should turn off your location service, manage your location history and location settings, as well as, your Web & App Activity.

4. Look into the cookie policy of a website before just accepting

Most of us often click “I Accept” to clear the cookie policy pop-up to continue browsing. It may be too much of a bother to read through every policy but by giving consent, you are essentially allowing the site to collect pieces of your personal information for promotion purposes. If managing the policies individually is too much hassle, you can consider reading the cached page or using private browsing to protect your personal information.

 

Best tip: You are your best precaution. Keep yourself informed

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Eunice Cheah

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