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Data privacy is such an important topic that it gets its own day each year! On January 28, Data Privacy Day recognizes the need for data protection and personal and widespread information security. As technology enhancements come at a breakneck pace, we each receive tremendous value with new apps and gadgets but sometimes it is difficult to keep up.

Tax season is just about here again, and that brings a whole host of stressful things to keep in mind. One thing you might not realize is that you need to be wary of security concerns, outside of the already difficult process of filing your taxes. Stolen data and identities abound during tax season, so take these steps to avoid becoming part of the trend.

We’re not talking about baked goods when we say that cookies are everywhere on the internet. Well, you can probably order a lot of them from Amazon, but we’re talking about computer cookies here. Cookies are encrypted text files that websites place on users’ computing devices to help websites remember your presence, login information, and activity, and help keep user experiences consistent. Cookies can also collect user information, enable targeted marketing, and serve ads, and make search suggestions relevant to your browsing history.

It is important as consumers to be aware of everything that we buy and use. This is true for a car, phone, or even an app. It can be difficualt to understand what a person is agreeing to when using or buying a new product. Many companies have complex terms in their agreements (End User License Agreement or Terms and Conditions). Most consumers don't read the agreements and just accecpt them. There are new laws that are forcing companies to develop ways of notifying end users of these agreements, but consumers should still educate themselves on how their data is being used.

Phishing is always on our radar here at ASU. It remains the #1 successful attack vector for hackers to get your personal information year after year. Understanding the social engineering schemes of phishing is key; rather than “break into” your accounts or information, these attackers find it’s easier in many cases  just to ask you for your information.

Data privacy is such an important topic that it gets its own international day each year! On January 28, Data Privacy Day recognizes the need for personal data and privacy protection practices.  As technology enhancements come at a breakneck pace, we all live technology-enhanced lives with each new app or IoT gadget. These new tools provide tremendous value to our lives, however it becomes vitally important that we understand how the data it collects is used.

Just like in real life, our digital lives can become cluttered and messy if we don’t take care to clean up now and then. Additionally, removing files that could contain sensitive information can protect you from attackers - hackers can’t steal what isn’t there!  Downloaded files, unneeded applications, and old documents are all examples of items that should be removed periodically.

If you don’t need it, delete it! We’re all busy but these 5 tips will save you time and effort in the long run.

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