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This Privacy Awareness Week, don't be in the dark on privacy

Privacy Awareness Week is being marked around Australia from 12 to 18 May 2019, shining a spotlight on personal information and how to protect it.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is encouraging consumers, business and government agencies to focus on a series of privacy priorities throughout the week, from data breaches and online security to credit reports and health information.

The central message of the campaign is “Don’t be on the dark on privacy”.

Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk said record support for the event shows privacy has come into sharp focus as a leading priority for organisations and the community.

“Our personal information is a vital input into the economy and government agencies,” the Commissioner said.

“Managing this information responsibly, as organisations face increasingly complex data protection challenges, is critical.

“Privacy Awareness Week is an important opportunity to demonstrate this shared commitment to making privacy and data protection a priority.

“We’re pleased to see more than 450 organisations have signed up as supporters this year, to spread the message about the importance of good privacy practice and respecting personal information rights.”

Now in its 14th year, Privacy Awareness Week is held every May as an initiative of the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities.

Entities regulated by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) can sign up to support Privacy Awareness Week at oaic.gov.au/paw2019 and join in the campaign on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

The Privacy Awareness Week website has event information, posters and digital assets to download.

It also features privacy resources for organisations and individuals, including the ten top recommendations to protect privacy in your daily life:

1. Know your rights

Your privacy is valuable and worth protecting – be informed so you can exercise your rights.

2. Read privacy policies and collection notices

If you don’t understand a privacy policy or notice, ask for an explanation.

3. Always ask why, how and who

Don’t give out your personal information unless you’re comfortable with how it’s going to be used.

4. Check your credit report

Make sure your credit information is correct and up to date.

5. Protect yourself online

Use strong passwords and don’t use the same ones across different accounts.

6. Be aware of your mobile security

Treat your phone like your wallet and keep it secured at all times.

7. Use security software

Keep your online security tools up to date.

8. Be careful what you share on social media and other digital platforms

Use the privacy settings to control the amount and type of information you want to share.

9. Don't leave your personal information lying around

Securely dispose of hard copy and electronic records.

10. Beware of scams

If it looks too good to be true, don’t share your personal information.

Media enquiries: Sarah Harmelink 0407 663 968 or media@oaic.gov.au