Skip to main content

Defend Your Data: Protect your privacy by limiting what personal information you share online

credit card and laptop data

Everything you do online generates data, but you can help control how your personal information is collected, shared and used. 

In support of Data Privacy Week, Information Technology Services recommends five simple steps to protect your online story: 

1. Don’t overshare. Social media accounts with too much personal information make identity theft easier. Your high school, birth city or mother’s maiden name could help a criminal change your banking passwords, so choose tougher security questions and be careful what you post. Or make your profiles private on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

2. Collect only the essential. Employees can help keep student data private by only collecting or sharing information that is required for legitimate business reasons. It’s also University policy.

3. Use incognito or private browsing. Use incognito mode when browsing to prevent the storage of your search history, temporary internet files or cookies. Another alternative is an anonymous search engine like StartPage or DuckDuckGo

4. Limit app access to personal data. When an account or app asks for access to your personal information, consider whether the benefits are worth it. Be wary if the requested information is not relevant to the service being provided.

5. Change your privacy settings. Check and customize the privacy and security settings for your apps and websites, limiting what you share and with whom. The National Cybersecurity Alliance has a helpful Manage Your Privacy Settings page with links to dozens of popular services.

Learn more about protecting yourself at