Tips for Staying Safe and Private Online: Consumers


Most households now run networks of devices linked to the internet, including computers, gaming systems, household assistants, home robots, TVs, tablets, smartphones and wearables. These devices make it easier to connect to the world around you, but they can also track your personal information, including your contacts, photos, videos, location and health and financial data.

As the issue of privacy become better known to the public, consumers are becoming more concerned about who will access their information and why.  Here are some consumer-friendly tips to help protect your privacy:

  • PERSONAL INFO IS LIKE MONEY: VALUE IT. PROTECT IT. Information about you, such as
    your purchase history or location, has value – just like money. Be thoughtful about who gets that
    information and how it’s collected through apps and websites. You should delete unused apps, keep
    others current and review app permissions.
  • SHARE WITH CARE. Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what it reveals,
    who might see it and how it could be perceived now and in the future. It’s a good idea to review your social
    network friends and all contact lists to ensure everyone still belongs.
  • OWN YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE. Set the privacy and security settings on websites and apps to your
    comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application or browser you use will have different
    features to limit how and with whom you share information. It’s OK to ask others for help.
  • THINK BEFORE YOU ACT. Information about you, such as the games you like to play, your contacts
    list, where you shop and your geographic location, has tremendous value. Be thoughtful about who
    gets that information and understand how it’s collected through websites and apps.