Digital security, privacy and online identity
Digital tools are a part of life at work and at home. In this article we look at the prevalence of digital tools and the importance of conducting our digital practices safely.
Depending on your workplace and role, you might use digital tools for a range of purposes. Digital tools help us to collect data, communicate, shop, network, work collaboratively, and manage projects.
We therefore need to manage digital tools carefully to protect ourselves and others.
Managing your digital information safely
The ability to manage your digital security, privacy and online identity is critical to digital literacy at work.
To do this effectively, you need to be aware of the appropriate practices, policies and standards that relate to your use of digital information. These are mandated by your organisation, government and tools you are using.
For example, recent EU data protection regulations impact the way organisations all over the world can process and store personal data.
When you are working in the digital environment, you are responsible for protecting yourself, your organisation and its stakeholders.
The following checklist outlines some basic strategies you can implement every day. Are you incorporating all of these in both your personal and professional digital practice?
- Keep your personal and work information private, such as passwords, security codes or your date of birth.
- Encrypt any private or sensitive information that is critical to your identity or organisation. This can be done with simple tools like Veracrypt.
- Ensure your email is secure. This means using a strong email password.
- Lock your screen when stepping away from your computer or phone.
- Regularly install updates for any key applications or software you use to manage workplace or personal information.
- Be cautious when reading emails from unknown sources – especially when they request information or ask you to open a file or link.
- Install antivirus software on your computer and smartphone.
- Use public Wi-Fi spots wisely – these are often unprotected and put your data at risk.
- Be careful of what you post on social media sites. Releasing too much personal information can be problematic. For example, it’s generally not a good idea to post photos while still on holiday if it just points to the fact that you are not at home for the next two weeks. Similarly, you might want to avoid sharing information that would help people online to answer the security questions to your online accounts, such as your mother’s maiden name, or the name of your first pet.
- Follow the instructions and policies provided by your organisation.
Next, consider the list of tips for staying safe in a digital environment. Are there any tips you would add to this list?
Share your thoughts with other learners in the comments.
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