Most of these blogs come from the perspective of a privacy professional, noting what you can do to help your organization be better at handling privacy. Today, however, I want to talk about you. Individuals have a lot to consider regarding privacy, particularly when it comes to applications and online activities.
Read the Notice
First and most importantly, for all that is good in the world, please read the privacy notices of the organizations you do business with. I am not saying that you should read every single word and that you need to know everything about the privacy program of Facebook, but at the very least have an idea of who they are sharing your data with. The number of times I have heard friends complain about the amount of data collection online without having read the notice is sometimes astounding. What companies do with your data is not a secret, but how can you know if you simply ignore the notices that tell you?
Most websites, applications, and tools allow you to adjust how much or what information is collected. Browsers such as Chrome or Firefox may also provide you with options to not accept cookies or block collection of certain information. Making use of these options is an excellent way to customize your online experience and maintain your privacy.
Many applications will use Privacy by Default, where they have the privacy settings at their maximum, but each application is different, so take the time to look at the settings and keep your data safe.
Something many individuals don’t do is keep an eye on known data breaches or events with regard to their privacy. You may not know it, but massive data breaches of cloud service providers or other applications can affect you, so be sure to review each tool or application for their settings. Some may collect more than you think, so do check their settings to ensure you don’t give away data you would not otherwise be comfortable with.