How to best protect your personal data
January 29, 2019

By Chris Dyck, program co-ordinator, Big Data Analytics program

There are many articles about data privacy and how to protect your data.  Here are a few of the better tips.

  • Avoid Facebook surveys. These surveys contribute to your online profile and are delivered to an entity that exists outside of Facebook. They’re not bound to the same “ethical use” practices as Facebook so most of the time you may not know who owns your data.
  • Don’t participate in social media chain letters. No, your Facebook account has not been compromised. Similar to chain letters, these messages from friends telling you your account has been hacked or that they’ve received a friend request from you aren’t real. These are all tracking methods within the social media provider.
  • Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. The world is an interesting place with lots of interesting people. Once you opt into a friend request, you’re open to all sorts of harassment from someone you don’t even know. Be careful.
  • Utilize incognito browsing. Use incognito browsing to hide your web footprint available in your local computer history. Don’t know how to do that? Here’s how you can set your browser to incognito or private mode.
  • Don’t click on that email! Although an email may appear to be sent from a friend, it’s very possible to receive emails that are spoofed using your friend’s email address. Often these emails contain links that route you to a malicious site or information collectors. So don’t click it and don’t open it.
  • Don’t test your password or username for security. There are many sites that allow you to test the security of your username and password. The trouble is the passwords are often collected and used for hacking purposes. Ironically, the same sites also offer a username tester. If these data sets are combined, the company can now query the popular websites for access using your credentials.
A hand on a cell phone with a blue background
A bald man wearing a black jacket and white shirt smiling at the camera

Chris has been teaching at Georgian since 2015. He has built his professional life around his entrepreneurial skills over the past 25 years, finding new ways to use his talents in leadership, management and technology. He was recently interviewed for a documentary about the future of artificial intelligence and biotech engineering and how it will impact the course of humankind.

Here’s the promotional video.