Own your privacy: Data Privacy Day 2021

A UB instructor advises two business students using a mobile phone.

Published January 20, 2021

Your personal info and data are valuable—and they’re yours. But sometimes it feels like the data we generate is beyond our control. January 28 is Data Privacy Day, the perfect opportunity to reclaim your data!

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Most of us use dozens, if not hundreds, of apps and services online. It can be hard to know where to get started when we want to take back control of our privacy.  

If you’re looking for a way to get started, follow these tips from the National Cyber Security Alliance:

Personal info is like money: Value it. Protect it

Personal information, such as your purchase history, IP address or location, has tremendous value to businesses—just like money. Before you sign up for or use a new service, consider the amount of personal information they are asking for, and weigh it against the benefits you may receive in return. 

If a so-called “free” service is asking for a lot of personal information, especially your address or phone number, it’s not really free at all—and could end up costing you real money if a security breach puts your info in the wrong hands.

The bottom line: make informed decisions about whether or not to share your data. 

Keep tabs on your apps

Many apps ask for access to your location, contacts and photos before you can even use their services. 

Be thoughtful about who gets that information, and wary of apps that require access to information that is not required or relevant for the services they are offering. Delete unused apps on your internet-connect devices and keep others secure by performing updates. 

Manage your privacy settings

Check the privacy and security settings on web services and apps and set them 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. 

Not sure where to find your privacy settings? Visit the National Cyber Security Alliance’s Manage Your Privacy Settings page for convenient links and information to manage privacy settings on popular services. 

Cyber secure, all year long

Data Privacy Day is just the start. Visit buffalo.edu/ubit/safe for cyber security tips, information about phishing attempts and more, all year long.