Protecting Your Privacy & Data in the New Year

The Matrix Code Wallpaper

I imagine many of us are making our New Year’s resolutions; living healthier lives, being more creative, making time for family, etc. But the beginning of the New Year is a good time to evaluate your digital identity and footprint. When’s the last time you changed your passwords? Checked the privacy settings on your social media sites? Now is a good time to evaluate…as is the beginning of every new year.

Not only is this important for protecting your identity, financial information, etc., but it can also be for your physical safety. Unfortunately, Gamergate reminded us of the need to protect our online identities. It seems absurd that critiquing video games could lead to threats on your life, but it has happened to many women in the gaming and geek community. Take precautions.

Ginnis & Jamie’s Tips

  1. Change all your passwords. Use a different password for each site. While this is a total pain, password managers can help with keeping track of your passwords. (Macs have a built in password manager.) You could also try using a theme for your passwords. Then, at the beginning of each new year, pick a new theme for the coming year’s passwords.
  2. Check the privacy settings on all of your social media sites. Many of these sites frequently change their privacy policies and settings. This article from the New York Times has some good tips for cleaning up your digital presence on some of the most popular social media sites: Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Linkedin.
  3. Unsubscribe from sites you haven’t used in more than 6 months. The same goes for any mailing lists you may be on. You probably already get enough emails as it is. Prioritize.
  4. Make sure the sites you use most frequently have your most up-to-date information.
  5. Remove old credit card information from sites such as Amazon and others that store your credit card information.

I know many of our readers are computer savvy, so please share any more tips and resources in the comments section. 

Further reading:

Ginnis Tonik

Ginnis Tonik

Smashing the patriarchy with glitter, pink lipstick, and cowboy boots. You can follow her on Instagram @ginnistonik