Data Privacy Day: Do you know what your apps are doing?

Anyone concerned with the recent scam attempts should give this a read

  • Jan. 27, 2015 7:00 a.m.

In recognition of Data Privacy Day tomorrow, Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services Minister Amrik Virk encourages British Columbians to protect their privacy online by “clicking carefully” and ensuring that any applications or “apps” are not accessing any unnecessary personal data.

The number of identity theft and fraud reported has grown 50% since 2010 in B.C. with over 2,500 incidents reported to police in 2013. It’s more important than ever to protect your information.

Here are nine simple tips for protecting personal privacy online:

 

* Check your apps – Smartphone apps can potentially access your contacts, location, email and other information on your device. Only download apps from a trusted source and ensure you know what you are giving the app permission to do when you install it.

* Think before you click – Be careful when clicking on unfamiliar links embedded in websites or text, especially when they come from unknown companies. Hackers can create templates that look like a bank or other official websites to make it easier for them to access your computer and online accounts.

* Think twice about email attachments, even from people you know – Attachments may contain software that could potentially harm your computer’s performance, steal your personal information and send viruses to other people.

* Be cautious about revealing information on social networks – It’s easy to end up with personal information in your social media profiles. Remember to regularly review and update your privacy settings. For example, including email addresses and phone numbers can sometimes be enough for hackers to figure out your password.

* Do not respond to emails requesting personal information- Legitimate individuals and companies will not ask you to provide or verify sensitive information through a non-secure means such as email. If you have reason to believe that your financial institution needs personal information from you, phone the company using the number in your records, not the one the email may provide.

* Make strong passwords – When creating new passwords, use a mix of upper and lowercase letters and numbers. Make sure you change your most- important passwords, like banking, every six months.

* Secure your wireless connection – Make sure to protect your home wireless network with a password. When connecting to public Wi-Fi, be cautious about what information you access. It’s easy for hackers to use programs to snoop and observe open Wi-Fi data.

* Upgrade your security – Personal firewalls and security software with anti-virus, anti-spam, and spyware detection features are a must-have for those who engage in online financial transactions. Make sure the computer you are using has the latest security patches. Secure websites start with “https” instead of “http” and have a key or closed padlock in the status bar that appears in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.

* Protect your phone with a password – Smartphones can hold as much or even more personal information than your laptop or desktop computer. Add a password to your smartphones or mobile devices for protection.

 

British Columbia’s proclamation is part of an international campaign to help educate and illustrate the importance of managing the growing amount of personal information that is being posted to the Internet.

Just Posted

Castlegar applies for grant for next phase of Columbia Ave repairs

Phase 2 will cover Columbia Avenue from 20th Street to 24th Street

Selkirk College students protest proposed tuition increases

Sudents’ union says this year’s 2 per cent increase puts education out of reach for some

Castlegar business owners report highest optimism in 3 years

Two-thirds of survey participants report business security or growth

Former ski champ and MLA’s son hope to open Castlegar cannabis store next month

Felix Belczyk and Ben Conroy are in the approval process for local Spiritleaf outlet

Born 1 pound, 11 ounces, Winlaw premature baby comes home

Indra Greaves was born at the Nelson hospital after just 24 weeks of gestation

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Most Read