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Data Privacy Day: How Safe is Your Personal Information?

Posted by Bobbie Stempfley, Acting Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications, National Protection and Programs Directorate

January 28th is National Data Privacy Day, a nationwide effort to raise awareness about the importance of taking steps to protect the privacy of your personal and financial data. Increased interconnectivity increases the risk of theft, fraud, and abuse. When was the last time you reviewed the privacy settings on your social media accounts, read the fine print when purchasing an app, or talked to your family about safe online behavior?

At the end of the day, cybersecurity is really about people.  If each of us commits to staying informed of cybersecurity risks and takes a few simple steps, we can all make a big difference to stay safe online.

We know it only takes a single infected computer to potentially infect thousands and perhaps millions of others.   And it’s our goal to make basic cybersecurity practices as reflexive as putting on a seatbelt – using antivirus software, being careful which websites you visit, not opening emails or attachments that look suspicious. These basic measures can improve both our individual and our collective safety online.

To achieve our shared goal, we invite you to take a few basic steps to be more secure: 

  • Set strong passwords, and don’t share them with anyone.
  • Keep a clean machine - our operating system, browser, and other critical software are optimized by installing regular updates.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you post online, and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
  • Be cautious about what you receive or read online – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and we are all called on to ACT or Achieve Cybersecurity Together. For more information, please visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.

 

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