#TopTenTips Data Protection Week #KeepMyDataSafe

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The data protection law is frequently used as a barrier by organisations to hide behind. This is often as a result of a lack of understanding of the law, or a fear of getting it wrong and facing the wrath of the regulator. This inadvertently leads to organisations telling you they can’t do something when actually they can.

Data Protection is a positive concept which holds to account, those entrusted with our personal information to look after it correctly. Here are our top 10 tips for individuals.

  1. Check out the small print / privacy policy and don’t be afraid to question it. Is your information being shared? If so, with whom? And for what purpose? All too often we are only partially aware of how our information is collected, used, and shared.
  2. Don’t throw your paperwork in the bin; identity thieves can have a field day spending your money if your information is stolen.
  3. Check the privacy settings on all your social media accounts. It is alarming how much your account, posts and shares reveal about you. Think twice before completing online quizzes that include pet names and maiden names. This gives someone key pieces of information that mirror the typical security questions for your bank.
  4. Reset the default password on your router (if in doubt about how to do this ask your provider). Routers often come installed with a common password. You must change this to stop others using your broadband or being even more devious.
  5. Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi. While it can be a great way of saving your data allowance, it is often unsecure and lets others track your activity, including bank account details, payment details etc.
  6. Encrypt any USB keys or removable drives you use to prevent someone else from accessing the information on the device.
  7. Ensure that your mobile phone and tablet are password, PIN or fingerprint protected. We would all be lost without our phones but don’t let criminals get access to them.
  8. Use strong passwords on your online accounts, with a mix of upper case and lower case letters, as well as numbers and symbols that no-one else could easily guess.
  9. Install all updates as soon as they become available, as they plug security holes that hackers could otherwise use to access your information.
  10. Don’t panic!Our team at the Office of the Information Commissioner is on hand to answer your questions. If you’re not sure about something or need some advice on how the law applies to you, please do not hesitate to contact us on 716530 or email enquiries@jerseyoic.org