The National Crime Prevention Council Helps Celebrate Data Privacy Day in Partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign

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NCPC and Stop.Think.Connect. provide tips to help individuals prioritize their protection of privacy online.

Since 2008, January 28th has marked Data Privacy Day in the United States and Canada, commemorating the 1981 signing of Convention 108 – the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. Led by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect campaign, Data Privacy Day is an effort that encourages people to take responsibility for protecting their own privacy and data online.

The Stop.Think.Connect. campaign, which reminds Americans that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, is a national public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the American public to be safer and more secure online. As a partner of the leading campaign, the National Crime Prevention Council provides the public with cyber security tips for Data Privacy Day:

Keep a Clean Machine.

  • Keep security software current: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
  • Automate software updates: To continuously defend against known risks, turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.
  • Protect all devices that connect to the Internet: Along with computers, smart phones, gaming systems, and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.
  • Plug & scan: “USBs” and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.

Protect Your Personal Information.

  • Secure your accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you to verify who you are before you conduct business on that site.
  • Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
  • Unique account, unique password: Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.
  • Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer.
  • Own your online presence: When available, set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s ok to limit how and with whom you share information.

Connect With Care.

  • When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or if appropriate, mark as junk email.
  • Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine.
  • Protect your money: When banking and shopping, ensure the site is security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “s http://”, which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information.

Be Web Wise.

  • Stay current. Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online: Check NCPC and Stop.Think.Connect websites for the latest information, and share with friends, family, and colleagues and encourage them to be web wise.
  • Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, offers something that sounds too good to be true, or asks for personal information.
  • Back it up: Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.

Be a Good Online Citizen.

  • Safer for me, more secure for all: What you do online has the potential to affect everyone – at home, at work, and around the world. Practicing good online habits will benefit the global digital community.
  • Post only about others as you have them post about you: Post messages that do not include threats; insults; offensive, name-calling; teasing; or language that excludes individuals or groups.
  • Help the authorities fight cyber crime: Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (http://www.ic3.gov) and to your local law enforcement or state attorney general as appropriate.

If you find yourself a victim of a cybercrime, NCPC recommends visiting the Stop.Think.Connect. Quick Tips page for incident response and reporting tips.

About the National Crime Prevention Council
The National Crime Prevention Council is the nonprofit leader in crime prevention. For more than 30 years, our symbol of safety, McGruff the Crime Dog®, has delivered easy-to-use crime prevention tips that protect what matters most—you, your family, and your community. Law enforcement agencies nationwide rely on our expertise to make an impact on personal safety and crime every day. For more information on how NCPC can be a public safety expert for you or how to “Take A Bite Out Of Crime®,” visit http://www.ncpc.org.

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