AG Gansler Urges Vigilance, Offers Tips to Mark Data Privacy Day
Several initiatives aim to promote keeping personal information safe
MD ( Jan. 30, 2012) - In recognition of the fifth occurrence of Data Privacy Day on January 28, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler encourages Maryland consumers to be aware of how their privacy can be compromised on the Internet and other technological platforms.
"Too often, consumers learn that their privacy has been invaded after it happens," said Attorney General Gansler. "The information we enter online has the potential to be used for purposes we may not have intended. By learning how websites and third parties obtain our personal information and how they might use it can go a long way towards protecting ourselves from identity theft and other data breaches."
Attorney General Gansler urges consumers to take the following simple steps to help secure personal information that may be communicated online:
- Read and understand the privacy settings on social networking services to ensure information is accessible to only intended users
- Think carefully before posting pictures, videos and other identifying information you post online.
- Never post your home address, email address, phone numbers, passwords or other sensitive information on social forums.
- Don't respond to emails, friend requests, Twitter messages or other communications from unknown senders, particularly those that request personal information.
- Report any suspicious activity to a site's webmaster and to proper law enforcement authorities, if warranted.
- Don't access your personal information on unsecured wireless networks.
- Check that your anti-virus and spyware software is up to date and scan your computer for threats on a regular basis.
- Make sure your passwords are strong and don't share them with anyone.
Data Privacy Day, coordinated and promoted this year by the National Cyber Security Alliance, is a global campaign that urges everyday Web consumers to exercise closer control over how their personal information and sensitive records are collected, shared and stored online.
Attorney General Gansler encourages consumers to learn more information about cyber safety efforts in Maryland through the CLICKS. Initiative (Community Leadership In Cyber Knowledge and Safety), which can be found at http://www.oag.state.md.us/clicks.htm. In addition, the Office of the Attorney General's CLICKS brochure is available at http://www.oag.state.md.us/Reports/clicksWeb.pdf.