Just as it is important to protect your system from viruses, it is also important to protect your personal information. The following tips will help you protect your privacy on the Internet.
Social Media - Turn Privacy Settings On!
It is important to be conscious of what information is placed online; phone numbers, addresses, and school schedules are private information that should not be made publicly accessible. For social media tools like Facebook, we recommend that users turn privacy settings ON.
Tip: Check out Facebook's new privacy options! You can now create custom friend lists and exception rules in your privacy settings!
Using Passwords Effectively
An effective password should be at least eight characters long and consist of letters, numbers and symbols. Do not use obvious passwords such as birth dates, names, phone numbers, or common words. Change the password on your Western Personal Computer Account at least once a semester, and change your other passwords on a regular basis as well. Never give your passwords to anyone.
Checking Privacy Policies
Look for privacy policies on web sites asking for your personal information and read these policies carefully. They should explain what personal information is being requested, why, and how it will be used. A web site asking for sensitive information like Social Insurance Numbers should only be requesting such information if it is essential to the transaction being conducted. Be cautious about doing business with sites that request personal data and do not post detailed and legitimate privacy policies.
Using Secure Connection
Never submit a credit card number or other highly sensitive personal information without first making sure that your connection is secure (encrypted). In your browser, look for a closed lock icon at the bottom of the browser window, or look at the URL (web address) line; a secure connection will begin with https:// instead of http://.
Handling Unsolicited E-mail
Spam, or unsolicited bulk e-mail can be a nuisance. If you get spam mail DO NOT RESPOND. You run the risk of being added to more bulk distribution lists. If your Western e-mail account receives spam mail, go to http://www.uwo.ca/its/network/stopspamfor tips on understanding spam and what you can do about it.