Safeguarding Your Personal Information

Controlling which apps can use your location

Some apps needlessly require your location. It’s good to check every once in a while to see what apps are using what permissions.

  1. Swipe your screen down
  2. Click on the “Settings” icon
  3. From the list, click on “Location”
  4. From here, you can see what apps are using your location and you’ll be able to adjust app permissions to control or prevent this
  1. Click on “Settings”
  2. From the list, click on “Privacy”
  3. Next, click on “Location Services”
  4. From here, you can see which apps are using your location and adjust the permissions or stop location sharing
Paper map open with a large red location symbol on top of it

Switching to safer browsers to prevent tracking

With the explosion of awareness around digital privacy and the data for profit trade, several companies have created safer versions of the internet browser. These work by doing things like blocking third party ads and preventing cookies.

  • Brave is a free, privacy-centric Chromium browser designed with built in ad blockers and third party tracking prevention.
  • DuckDuckGo provides a secure browser that prevents consumer targeting from third party ads while offering privacy focused features that can be used across desktop and mobile devices.
  • Firefox by Mozilla is a free open-source browser providing a faster search experience complete with third party tracking protections.
  • Opera is another Chromium browser that offers an entire suite of features geared towards consumer privacy such as a VPN, ad blocker, and malware protection.
  • Ghostery is an open-source secure browser extension and app that offers ad blockers and tracking prevention for free, as well as more advanced features for a small fee.
Generic search bar with a lock and the word secure in it

Making changes to your cookie settings

Not all cookies are delicious. Online cookies allow websites and companies to track your browsing activity to amass data on user behavior and ad preferences.

  • Click on the three vertical dots on the top right corner of the search bar
  • Then, click “Settings” from the dropdown menu
  • From here, click on “Privacy and Security” on the left hand side
  • Next, click on “Cookies and other site data”
  • Once here, you’ll be able to adjust your cookie settings based on your preferences
Image of the chrome browser menu listing cookie and security setting options

Recognizing and avoiding phishing attempts

Phishing occurs when scammers use email or text messages to try and gain access to your personal information — generally for nefarious purposes.

  • Checking the sender address of all email communications against verified emails
  • Never sending sensitive information via email unless previously agreed upon (e.g., emailing a signed contract for a legitimate employment opportunity)
  • Looking for poor grammar in correspondence
  • Noticing poor quality images, off-center logos, and text formats that don’t match previous emails from a sender
  • Only opening attachments from senders you trust
  • Avoid clicking links in questionable emails and SMS messages
  • Never answering SMS messages from unknown numbers
  • Looking at websites like usa.gov for the latest scam alerts

Using apps designed to help protect your data

In addition to our other suggestions, there are a wide variety of apps designed to help you manage and protect your personal information.

Ready to take back control of your data?

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