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Privacy Awareness 2023 - Privacy 101: Back to Basics

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Privacy Awareness Week is a yearly event that aims to raise awareness and promote the importance of protecting personal information. This year’s theme, chosen by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), is Privacy 101: Back to Basics.

In support of OAIC’s Privacy Awareness Week, here are 10 tips for keeping your personal information safe.

Value your personal information

Protect your personal information and share it only when necessary. It’s crucial to understand your rights when it comes to handling personal information.

Organisations and government agencies must follow specific practices when handling personal information. These practices cover areas such as obtaining consent, collecting, using and disclosing information.

In Australia, privacy laws give individuals the right to access their personal information and request corrections to any information held by an organisation or agency.

Data, WHS Data, Research, WHS Research, Lone Worker Safety, WHS Strategy

Check before sharing information

To safeguard your personal information, ensure that you trust the person or organisation you’re sharing it with. Always verify their identity and reputation, and if anything appears suspicious, avoid sharing your information.

Scammers are becoming more sophisticated and may use current events to make their cons seem more legitimate. If you’re feeling rushed, tired, or distracted, you’re more likely to fall for their tricks.

Take a moment to pause and reflect before sharing any information. If you’re unsure, it’s better to err on the side of caution and say no.

How to Check in on Lone Workers or Remote Workers - How to ask are you okay

Read privacy policies

When sharing information, ensure that you understand how it will be used. Review organisations’ privacy policies to confirm their privacy practices. Only share information if you’re comfortable with how it will be used and whom it will be shared with.

Privacy policies should explain how personal information is collected, stored, and used, as well as how to lodge a complaint. If the policy is unclear, ask for clarification.

View our privacy policy.

Update your privacy settings

Be cautious of websites, apps, and devices that automatically share your personal information without your knowledge. Always check what you are agreeing to share and ensure it is information you are comfortable sharing.

Website cookies can improve site functionality but can also be used to track your online activity and share your information with others.

Make an informed decision when it comes to advertising preferences and consider saying “no” to cookies or deleting them altogether. You may also want to limit location tracking.

Protect your accounts

Use strong passphrases and multi-factor authentication to safeguard your accounts. Passphrases that consist of four or more random words are more secure than traditional passwords because they are longer and more difficult to guess but easy to remember. Additionally, always enable multi-factor authentication whenever possible as it provides an additional layer of security for your accounts.

Protect your devices

Install security updates promptly to keep your devices and apps secure. You can opt for automatic updates to avoid missing important ones.

If your device is too old for upgrades, consider getting a replacement to avoid vulnerability. Regularly back up your personal information as a precautionary measure.

Think before you post on social media

Be cautious about the information you share on social media as it can reveal a lot about you and be shared with other organisations or used to cause harm. Set boundaries and consider making your accounts private.

Question why you are being asked for information and make sure it is necessary, beneficial, and safe to share. Always ask for permission before tagging friends and family in posts.

Securely delete or destroy unnecessary information

Protect yourself from identity theft and other threats by being mindful of your personal information. Safeguard your privacy by securely disposing of personal information, deleting old accounts and emails, and wiping data from old devices.

Don’t leave confidential papers or emails lying around and be cautious of where they end up. Take the time to do some housekeeping and delete unnecessary emails, especially those that contain private information.

Act quickly if your data is breached

In case of a privacy breach, act quickly to reduce harm. Steps you can take are:

  • Changing your passphrases
  • Looking out for scam calls or emails
  • Checking credit reports,
  • Checking financial accounts.

 

Contact the relevant agency if necessary, and keep a record of actions taken.

Talk more about privacy

Discussing privacy is crucial for people of all ages, but it is not always a common topic of conversation. Start a conversation with your friends and family, particularly children, about the importance of privacy. Young people must understand the significance of their privacy as soon as they begin using digital devices and the internet.

You may also be able to assist others in becoming more confident in managing online privacy settings and implementing effective privacy measures. Additionally, you may learn a few privacy tips yourself.

If you want to find out more about how we collect and use personal information, click on the below link to view our privacy policy.

To learn more about Privacy Awareness Week 2023, visit the OAIC Website.

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