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Wise up about who has access to your data

28 Jan 2020 - 07:15

Our lives revolve around technology. We send instant messages via WhatsApp. Our thoughts and carefully composed photographs are shared via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We ask Siri to find the best route home and Alexa to remind us to get milk, bread and speckled eggs.

More than often we shop online instead of driving to a mall to pick up an outfit and accessories. When someone mentions a word or period in history that is unknown to us, we quickly Google it. Thanks to our mobile devices being mini computers we are constantly connected.

What is scary though, is that every time we go online our activity is being tracked each time we click or tap. Our data is then stored and sold to third parties for their marketing campaigns, among other things. It’s no coincidence that the bag you searched for on Takealot but decided not to take, will be advertised along with similar options on a news website that you’re currently browsing.

That is why international awareness raising days such as Data Privacy Day celebrated 28 January is so important. It serves as a reminder to all of us to regularly check what information we’re sharing, who can access this information and how it is being used.

This year’s theme is encouraging you to take control of your data. One way to do this is by checking your online accounts’ privacy settings. Applications, websites and online services regularly update their privacy terms and conditions without you knowing. So, it is worthwhile taking some time every now and again to ensure that your data is not being leaked without your knowledge.

This privacy checklist will also help you get your 2020 off to a security conscious start.