Privacy Matters: Protect Before You Connect


This article highlights the importance of protecting your information from identity thieves through good security habits and practices.

Note: Remember that your personal brand extends to your online persona. Protect your privacy to protect your brand!


Protect Your Personal Brand Using Good Privacy and Security Habits with These Tips

  • There is no Delete button on the Internet. Think before you post because, even if you delete a post, video, or picture from your profile only seconds after posting it, chances are someone still saw it, made a copy of it, or shared it.

  • Avoid broadcasting your location. Location or geo-tagging features on your smart phones or social apps are not the safest features to activate. You could be telling a stalker exactly where to find you or telling a thief that you are not home.

  • Do not share private information. Beware that even if you attempt to limit distribution of information, it may be shared with a much broader audience.

  • Connect only with people you trust. While some social networks may seem safer because limited personal information is shared, you should reserve your connections only with people you know and trust.

  • Keep certain things private from everyone. Information including your full name, birth date, and address should be kept completely off your social networks. Listing this information makes you susceptible to potential identity thieves. Other things to keep private includes sensitive pictures or information about friends and family. Just because you find something amusing does not mean it should be shared with the world.

  • Speak up if you’re uncomfortable. If a friend posts something about you that makes you uncomfortable, or you think is inappropriate, let them know. On that note, stay open minded if a friend approaches you because something you’ve posted makes them uncomfortable. People have different tolerances for how much the world knows about them, and it is important to respect those differences. If you witness any instances of online bullying, you can report them to the Dean of Students.

Protect Your Privacy with These Simple Precautions

  • Use camera covers on your laptops. These are very cheap devices used to cover your laptop webcam when you are not using it. As long as the computer is on, someone could be watching you remotely over your webcam, even if your camera light is off.

  • Protect your communications. Even when you are communicating with organizations that you trust, make sure the URL begins with https before you enter sensitive information such as passwords, social security numbers, birthdate, full address, and so forth.

  • Avoid sending sensitive information via email. Emails could be intercepted, and your sensitive information could fall into the hands of a third party with bad intentions.

  • Protect against spyware, key loggers, and other malware. Be sure to run an up-to-date antivirus software on your computer to prevent installation of dangerous malware that can spy on you or capture all your keystrokes and send it to a malicious attacker. You have access to free antivirus software through the University's Software Center.

  • Use strong passwords and PINs. Always use strong passwords to access your computers, applications, and social media accounts. Additionally, use a personal identification number (PIN), fingerprint, or facial ID for accessing your smartphones and tablets so, if you lose them, no one can access your personal information.

  • Do not trust all applications. Only download apps from reputable organizations, and be sure to browse through their terms of service and privacy statements before you click I Agree or I Accept. Also, make sure that you are not agreeing with the organization to share your information with other third parties that you do not trust.

  • Report concerns to the Information Security group. If you have any reason to believe that the privacy of your information has been compromised, report this to the Information Security office by sending an email to

Managing Your Privacy Settings Online is a website put together by the National Cybersecurity Alliance, a non-profit organization on a mission to create a more secure, interconnected world. The link below is an excellent resource for managing privacy settings across many online platforms.

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Article ID: 71090
Tue 1/29/19 11:52 AM
Wed 11/8/23 4:09 PM

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