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Your devices make it easy to connect to the world around you, but they can also pack a lot of info about you and your friends and family, such as your contacts, photos, videos, location and health and financial data. Follow these tips to manage your privacy in an always-on world.
Secure your devices: Use strong passwords, passcodes or face/touch ID features to lock your devices. These security measures can help protect your information if your devices are lost or stolen and keep prying eyes out. Also consider a privacy screen, especially on your mobile devices, to keep prying eyes from seeing what you see.
Think before you app: Information about you, such as the games you like to play, your contacts list, where you shop and your location, has value – just like money. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it’s collected through apps. Don’t play social media games that ask you for information about you, like what your first car was, the name of your first pet and other uniquely personal information. Bad actors use this to build a profile about you so they can steal your identity.
Now you see me, now you don’t: Some stores and other locations look for devices with WiFi or Bluetooth turned on to track your movements while you are within range. Disable WiFi and Bluetooth when not in use. There’s no need to tell everyone around you that your phone hotspot is available. It’s just an invitation for a hacker to come after you.
Get savvy about WiFi hotspots: Public wireless networks and hotspots are not secure, which means that anyone could potentially see what you are doing on your mobile device while you are connected. Limit what you do on public WiFi, and avoid logging in to key accounts like email and financial services on these networks. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot if you need a more secure connection on the go. THis applies when you’re on the bus, plane or train as well. Even though those networks only connect those who are there with you, there still could be a nefarious actor nearby who would be happy to snoop on what you are doing.