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Take time to protect your privacy during Cyber Security Awareness Week

Australian Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim today encouraged all Australians to take steps to protect their personal information during National Cyber Security Awareness Week (20 to 24 May 2013). The aim of the Awareness Week is to help people understand the simple steps they can take to protect their personal and financial information when online.

‘The web has become part of our daily life — the place where we socialise, shop, and do business. At the same time we are sharing more personal information than ever before and potentially exposing ourselves to a number of risks which we need to manage,’ Timothy Pilgrim said.

‘Take the time to protect your personal information. Check the privacy settings on your social networking and mobile sites to make sure your personal information is protected and to reduce the likelihood that someone might take advantage of it,’ he said.

 ‘Other simple steps are to create strong passwords, change them regularly and think about what personal information you are storing on your mobile or computer,’ Mr Pilgrim added.

Business and government also have a responsibility to protect the personal information they hold about their customers or risk financial costs, lost reputation and customer trust.

‘Businesses and government agencies cannot ignore the need to take steps to protect the personal information of their customers or clients. This is critical to meet the current requirements of the Privacy Act 1988 as well as new privacy requirements due to commence in less than a year,’ Timothy Pilgrim said.

Earlier this month, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) released a Guide to information security and summary to help agencies and private sector businesses to comply with the information security requirements under the Privacy Act. The Guide is not binding but it sets out the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s expectations about what information security measures organisations should be taking.

For further information please contact: Jonathan Dobinson 0407 663 968 media@oaic.gov.au

Background information

National Cybersecurity Awareness Week is an Australian Government initiative, held annually in partnership with industry, community and consumer groups and state and territory governments. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is a partner.

Also see the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s 10 steps to protect your personal information

For more information on privacy law reform visit www.oaic.gov.au

People can keep in touch with the OAIC by subscribing to:

•    OAICnet — a mailing list for general updates about the OAIC’s activities

•    Privacy Connections — a network for private sector privacy contact officers

Information Contact Officer Network (ICON) — a network for public sector privacy (and freedom of information) contact officers.