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

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Castlegar daycare selected for universal childcare pilot program

MLA Katrine Conroy presents letter of acceptance to the program to the Children’s Centre at Selkirk College

Trail police release image of liquor store robber

The video surveillance image shows the robber aiming a black gun at the store’s clerk

Columbia Avenue paving scheduled for weekend

Paving on Castlegar’s main thoroughfare will take place in a few days, weather permitting.

Kootenay region posts 10-per-cent return rate on electoral reform ballots

As of Nov. 13, only 5.3 per cent of ballots had been returned province-wide

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Most Read