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7 Device Settings to Change this Data Privacy Day

1-Review Privacy Policies
These are written in complicated legalese jargon and designed to make your eyes glaze over. 74% of people don’t read privacy policies before accepting them, and 81% of people feel they have no control over when their data is collected.* Take a few minutes to review the privacy policies of the apps you use. Click here for a comprehensive list of links compiled by the NCSA.

2-Dump the Data … Permanently!
Your personal data is a gold mine for hackers. The European Commission values personal data in 2020 at nearly $1.2 trillion. Check old smartphones and hard drives to make sure you have permanently deleted sensitive information including emails, voicemails, text messages, documents & files. Many PC recyclers offer data destruction services to ensure your data can’t be recovered.

3-Get Trained!
The average data breach costs $3.9 million. To combat the risk, many companies offer cyber security awareness training to their employees as a benefit to protect the business and employees. Take advantage of that! INE offers a comprehensive training platform to businesses for free. check to see if your employer offers a training program. If not, ask for one. 

4-Turn On Erase-Data Function
Many smartphones have a feature that will erase your data after a certain number of failed password attempts. This may sound scary, but in reality could protect your personal information from being stolen. Log on to your phone’s Settings menu and toggle this option “ON” for maximum protection. 

5-Use Strong Passwords
This may seem like a no-brainer, but a recent Harris Poll found 2 in three people recycle the same password across multiple accounts. Using a password manager to generate strong, unique passwords is a smart way to establish safe security practices.

6-Turn On Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
This feature adds another layer of security to your online accounts. Examples of this include a fingerprint scan, bank security fob, personal identification number (PIN) or answer to a “secret question.” The extra boost of security makes it that much more difficult for hackers to access your information.

7-Clear Your Cloud
Long after you quit using an online service, your personal data is often still stored in the Cloud. Take a quick inventory of old accounts. Make sure the accounts themselves are closed, and you may also need to get in touch with customer support to ensure your closed account has been permanently deleted. 

*Source: Pew Research Center: Americans and Privacy Report. 2019.


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