Do You Need A Privacy Health Check?

“Privacy today is founded on the principles of transparency and accountability. It is about ensuring individuals can exercise choice and control and that the actions of organisations reflect the value of personal information to individual’s wellbeing and dignity.” – Angelene Falk, Acting Australian Information Commissioner & Acting Privacy Commissioner.

Recent controversy surrounding the major social media mogul, Facebook, collecting and selling user data to external third parties has reignited the conversation about digital privacy.

Parents and individuals who are concerned for the safety of their personal information may, therefore, be interested to know that the annual Privacy Awareness Week will be taking place from the 13th until the 19th May 2018. This initiative is held every year to “promote and raise awareness of privacy issues and the importance of protecting personal information” [1].

Incidentally, 2018 also marks 30 years since the commencement of the Australian Privacy Act 1988.

The theme of this year’s PAW is ‘from principles to practice’ and it’s dedicated to encouraging Australian organisations to “review and improve how they handle personal information to ensure they are transparent and accountable, in line with community expectations and legislative requirements.”

However, there will also be plenty of opportunities and resources for individuals who are seeking support in navigating today’s increasingly data-rich environment;

“PAW is also an opportunity for all of us to discuss and improve our individual privacy practices, to increase awareness about potential privacy risks and how to reduce them.” – Angelene Falk.

Click here for more information on Privacy Awareness Week, details on upcoming events, and downloadable resources.

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner will also be participating in Privacy Awareness Week by offering support to teachers, parents, and school students. In addition to providing downloadable eSafety Health Checks for the family to complete together, they have created a series of educational videos to help children navigate online privacy. Throughout the week they will also be hosting presentations and virtual classrooms targeted to students in years 4-6. These seminars will help children to:

  • Be aware of some of the latest scams
  • Report a scam, unwanted contact and cybercrime
  • Think before they place their own and other’s personal information online
  • Check settings to secure information as safely and privately as possible
  • Use and control strong passwords.

Click here for more information on the eSafety Commissioner privacy awareness campaigns.

Steps You Should Take To Protect Your Family’s Data [3]:

  • Ensure you utilise strict privacy settings in apps and on social media websites
  • Wherever possible, enable two-factor authentication
  • Learn how to identify common phishing scams (Hint: some email scams are designed to trick you into believing they’re from a legitimate source such as Microsoft, Google, or your bank. While the email may look legitimate, you should always call the publicly listed customer service number on their website if you have any concerns. Remember, reliable vendors will avoid asking you to disclose private information via insecure email, so treat that as an immediate red-flag.)
  • Use antivirus protection
  • Avoid insecure WiFi networks
  • Turn off location services
  • Double-check all app permissions – don’t let them share your data
  • Do regular privacy health check-ups, ideally in front of your kids
  • Use tough passwords and change them frequently



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