It's International Data Privacy Week!

Did you know that Data Privacy Week highlights the impact technology has on our privacy rights and the importance of valuing and protecting personal information?

Every year, the last week of January is dedicated to Data Privacy Week, which is observed in several nations, including Canada. 

All week long we will be sharing data privacy tips and tricks to keep you, your loved ones, fellow students and colleagues safer online!

Today we highlight a cautionary tale about the importance of staying safe online:

The goal of Data Privacy Week is to spread awareness about online data privacy. Data privacy should be a priority for all students, staff and faculty at McGill.

Did you know that your data is collected everyday — your computer, smartphone, and pretty much every other internet-connected device gathers data, which might even include your smartwatch or car! But did you also know that you often have some choices when it comes to how this data is collected, shared, and sold. We know, it's a little terrifying and creepy!

Here are some simple steps you can take to control how your data is shared:

  • Adjusting privacy settings: For every app, account, or device, check the privacy and security settings. These should be easy to find in a Settings section and should take a few moments to change. Set them to your comfort level for personal information sharing; generally, we think it’s wise to lean on the side of sharing less data, not more.
  • Protect your data: Create unique passwords, using random characters and numbers, use a minimum of 12 characters, use a password manager and use passphrases if you need to remember a password. Passwords are like toothbrushes, choose a good one, don't share it and don't forget to floss (use 2FA whenever available!).
  • Turn on automatic updates on your devices: Or make sure you install updates as soon as they are available.
  • Learn how to identify phishing messages: These can be sent as emails, texts, or direct messages.

Be weary and stay vigilant my friends!

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