Everyone values their privacy. With more time being spent online than ever before, it’s easy to just click ‘yes’ to close these unwanted pop-up ads on the screen. However, you don’t always know what you’re agreeing to.
Your digital footprint can include everything from your bank accounts to the number of times you listened to the Hamilton soundtrack. Ultimately, you shouldn’t have to give away that information to find out which iconic Oscars look you are. Unfortunately, not every website is as honest as us with what they do when you give consent.
Being careful with your information means handling life admin such as reading the terms and conditions. No one’s idea of fun, we know. However, with so many free download sites for programs and apps, you can’t always be sure what else is inside. It’s like eating a chocolate chip cookie that turns out to be oatmeal & raisin. Reading the T&Cs is like checking out the ingredients so you don’t bite off more than you can chew.
This is even more relevant if someone in your household is remote learning or working from home. You’ll probably need to download admin tools or utilise platforms you’re unfamiliar with so it’s worth vetting them. Understanding what happens to your (or your children’s) data can give you a peace of mind. It also lets you know exactly how to make the most out of digital learning.
Data users (i.e the websites which store your data) don’t usually go out of their way to inform you on how they’re planning to use your personal data. By only giving out your data to websites you trust, you cut out unnecessary exposure. Most websites ask for your data consent so at least researching these companies (plus what data they need, and for what) is the best practice.
Make sure to add organising your phone and laptop to your list of admin tasks. If your device keeps sending you notifications to update your Apps, you should probably listen. You may be worrying about how much storage the update will take however the reality is you need the update more than you need that album of memes. Updates often come with improved security measures that keep your data safe so it’s worth deleting a few things for space.
Knowing what happens with your data is a little more complicated than getting an ad for those shoes you were talking about. Keeping good digital hygiene protects you from identity theft or fraud. The best way to look after your data is to use websites that look after you.
Your online and offline lives are already intertwined. Keep them safe and update your address.