How to Protect Your Data Privacy

February 5, 2014

In celebration of Data Privacy Day, take five steps to protect your data privacy.

Tuesday was Data Privacy Day, an international day in the United States and Canada meant to “empower and education people to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint,” according to And to celebrate, the folks at Hogan Lovells created five steps to take to do just that:

1. Check credit reports: A recent study found that five percent of consumers had errors on at least one of three major credit reports, according to Julian Flamant.  It’s imperative for people to go over these with an intense attention to detail yearly.  Everyone is entitled to a free report once a year, available at, he says.

2. Protect your mobile device: That doesn’t just mean buying a cute case for your iPhone.  Lock your phone, purchase and maintain anti-virus software on it and don’t send sensitive information over encrypted networks, they say.

3. Control your online personality: And that means—put your settings all to private.  “Be choosy: while it’s fun to share information, keep your online reputation in mind.  And if you over-disclose information publicly, it could be used by identity thieves to hijack your identity,” warns Flamant.

4. Filter, filter, filter: Never, ever click a link or download an attachment from an email sender you do not know or cannot verify.  “Be critical when opening those that get through to your inbox,” says Flamant and set your spam filters to high.

5. Surf carefully: Take time to read the privacy policy of websites and “treat your personal information like money” aka—don’t give it away freely!

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