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Protecting your Privacy while online

Protecting yourself online in 2016 is a necessity. Nearly everything we do in our day to day lives from shopping to paying a water bill to interacting with friends involves online activities.  Attackers will use a variety of techniques to gather information from you. For this reason, we wanted to review 10 great tips to keep yourself protected while online.

  1. Never use your birth year on your social media platforms (Nerdwallet, 2016). Your birth year can be used for authentication in certain places.
  2. Be smart. Think before you share. Before going on vacation and posting about it, think about your audience. Are you allowing everyone to see this post, or just your friends? Someone you are not intending to view this information may take advantage of the fact that you are out of town and when you return, your stuff won’t be waiting for you.
  3. Do you trust everyone you share your private information with? Do you become Facebook friends with everyone you meet? Doing regular checks of your friends lists will help you realize who you are actually sharing your personal information with (Nerdwallet, 2016).
  4. Set your social media accounts to private (Nerdwallet, 2106). Setting your user settings to private makes you and your content a lot safer. This way, the entire world won’t have access to your information and you won’t have to worry about family members, enemies or potential employers seeing everything you may not want them to see.
  5. Do not make your passwords something that can be easily guessed based on information you share on social media and resist the temptation to reuse passwords. Since we are living in a world where we are so open online, sometimes we create passwords from things we will also post about online. For an example, you love your dog Ginger. You use Ginger’s name and the numbers 1, 2, 3 after it. All of a sudden, a hacker can find out what banking platform you use and they are into your funds just like that. It’s that easy but the good news is,  so is protecting yourself.
  6. Be careful what you post! Think about your future. How do you want to be perceived online in ten years? For example, “public officials have been forced out of office, employees have lost their jobs and students have been kicked off sports teams due to inappropriate posts online” (NerdWallet, 2016). These posts can come back to haunt you when you least expect it.
  7. Make sure your internet connection is encrypted (Nerdwallet, 2016). Here at ASU we have an encrypted wireless network to help ensure the security of your communications. Also, our campus network utilizes secure authentication to help protect your username and password. For more information on our encrypted wireless network, visit: wifi.asu.edu
  8. Use two-factor authentication wherever possible. Two-factor authentication is something you have and something you know. This ensures an added layer of protection for accounts and services that support it. Putting these into place helps keep you and your personal information private and secure (Getprotected, 2016).
  9. Protect yourself from phishing scams. The first thing to do when you get a message you think is phishy, is STOP. Trust your instinct and don’t click on any links. Do not open any attachments or do anything the email instructs you to do. If you believe you have been phished or if there is a suspicious email contact us at infosec@asu.edu.
  10. Download antivirus/antimalware applications for all of your computing devices. At ASU, we recommend a variety of different systems you can use: https://getprotected.asu.edu/software/antivirus.

Now that we have worked on tips to protect you, where can you go if you run into a problem online? If you believe you are a victim of fraud or identity, call AllClearID customer service at 1-855-434-8077 and provide the ASU Code ASU458. ASU offers this as a benefit to all staff, applicants, students and parents of applicants and students at no cost to you.

If you have any other questions about fraud or identity, please contact the ASU Police Crime Prevention unit: 480-965-1972.