Did you know that 81% of users say the potential risks they face from companies collecting data outweigh the benefits? (Source 2)
Make reviewing your privacy settings part of your spring cleaning checklist and periodically examine throughout the year to ensure that everything fits within your comfort level.
Cultivate a data privacy habit
Fortunately, many web browsers, computers, and devices will ask if you want to share certain types of data with a new app or website. Strike up a habit of paying attention to these requests and thinking about your answers.
Here are common types of data you might be asked for:
- Your location
- Your contacts
- Your photos and camera
- Data about your behavior and use of a service
At this point, think about what you want to share. On mobile devices, you can often decide if you want an app to only have access to this data while using it.
Make informed decisions about sharing your data
Consider the following questions:
- Is the service, app, or game worth the amount or type of personal data they want in return?
- Can you control your data privacy and still use the service?
- Is the data requested even relevant for the app or service? For example, does a Solitaire game need to know your contacts or your location? If an app or software program refuses to function unless you share certain data that you don’t think it needs, find another app.
- If you haven’t used an app, service, or account in several months, is it worth keeping around knowing that it might be collecting and sharing your data? You can always download the app again.
Routinely check data settings
Even if an app or software program never asks you for data, you should assume it is still collecting it.
Here are some default settings you should usually turn off, unless you need it for the app to function and you trust the app – camera, microphone, location, and sync contacts.
Check these account privacy settings listed below periodically:
- Facebook privacy settings
- Windows 10 privacy settings
- iPhone privacy settings
- Tips to check account settings
1 – National Cybersecurity Alliance: https://staysafeonline.org/
2 – Pew Research Center: https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2019/11/15/americans-and-privacy-concerned-confused-and-feeling-lack-of-control-over-their-personal-information/
3 – Image by fancycrave1 from Pixabay