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28 January is Data Protection Day — are your digital accounts data-tight?

28 January 2017 is the 11th annual Data Protection Day — to mark the occasion, check the security of your digital accounts, and encourage others to do the same.

Graphic of smartphone saying 'Enter Passcode' while shedding ones and zeroes When you shop online, share pictures or updates on social media, or sign-up to an app, you are sharing your personal information. This can include details such as your name, contact information and location. Some Internet of Things devices, such as wearable fitness trackers, can also collect health information.

It’s important to recognise what information you share online, and take steps to improve the security of your devices and digital accounts. So take privacy into your own hands today with the following six tips:

  1. Check the privacy settings on your devices and apps and change them to suit your privacy preferences
  2. Read privacy policies before you sign–up to, or use, an online service
  3. Check whether a website is secure before sharing your personal information (secure websites begin with ‘https’)
  4. Learn to recognise phishing attacks and avoid clicking on links in emails when you don’t recognise the sender
  5. Update your anti-malware and security software if it’s out of date
  6. Create strong, unique passwords for your devices and digital accounts. According to a study on 2016's most common passwords, nearly 17% of people used ‘123456’ as a password — a password this simple is easy to crack!

As Australia’s privacy regulator, we publish privacy guidance for individuals, businesses and agencies. You can stay up-to-date by following us on Twitter or Facebook, or sign-up to our newsletters, or for more tips on protecting your privacy, read our 10 tips to protect your privacy guide.

If you have a privacy complaint, you can get in touch with our office. Call 1300 363 992 or email enquiries@oaic.gov.au for free confidential assistance.