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The ultimate guide to protect your personal data online

Published date: December 2019

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Social media is an important part of internet use. Whether it’s keeping in touch with friends and family, sharing photos and videos or staying up to date with current news and affairs. Around 70% of UK adults have a social media account and about one in every five minutes spent online is on social media. 

But we don’t have to pay money for using the most popular social media networks; Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We do however, pay with our personal data, which is used to target us with adverts. It’s common for users to set up accounts for other software using their Facebook or Google account instead of going through the hassle of setting up a new account from scratch. These networks then collect data about our interests, location, opinions, etc. 

Famous cases as the Cambridge Analytica have shown that users still don’t know all the ways their information is being used and sold, traded and shared. It’s important that we learn more about how corporations are using our data.

How about you? Are you aware of how social media platforms use your personal data?

According to Ofcom, most internet users (74%) say they feel confident about managing their personal data online and the majority of people are happy for companies to collect their information under certain conditions (with 39% saying they are not happy for companies to collect and use their personal information).

The main reason why many users are not taking good care of their privacy could be that they are not fully aware of the value of this information. It's easy to think of a safe to protect jewellery because we understand the value of it. It is obvious to lock the door of the house or keep the money in the bank so it is protected. But when we talk about how crucial is to protect our data online, some people may say “Who could be interested on my Facebook pictures? I’m not a celebrity, nobody is going to be looking at what I do”. 

Our personal data has crucial value and we must start to protect it. You can start with little steps and we should all take just a few seconds to think before we click. Not giving authorisation or simply accepting all requests could be making a real difference.

Be aware of scams

All of us have received a call we weren’t expecting, and that call may ruin a special moment of your day. Ofcom’s latest estimate is that approximately 3.9 billion nuisance calls are received by UK landlines per year, which means that we get an average of four nuisance calls a week. Ofcom recommends a list of actions to be taken in case you are receiving messages or calls from a person or institution you do not recognize. Read our blog with great tips to stop nuisance phone calls. 


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