Attorney General Chris Carr is encouraging all Georgians to join in recognizing Data Privacy Week from Jan. 24-28, 2022, by reviewing and adjusting their privacy settings in order to protect their personal information.
“With personal information shared across multiple online platforms every day, Georgia consumers are increasingly vulnerable to identify theft and unwanted advertising,” said Carr. “Whether at home or at work, hackers will seek to exploit any gaps in security to access your accounts and steal your data. To protect yourself and your family, we recommend you stay up-to-date on important privacy measures and remain vigilant when storing or processing information online.”
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division offers the following security tips to protect your sensitive data.
Review Your Privacy and Security Settings
Read company privacy policies to learn what information they are collecting about you and whether and with whom they are sharing that information. You may be able to adjust your settings to limit the information companies can collect. If you are unable or if you do not feel that a company is adequately protecting your data, you may want to close that account. For a list of direct links to update your privacy settings on popular websites, mobile apps and email services, visit: staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/managing-your-privacy/manage-privacy-settings/.
Don’t Overshare on Social Media
Providing too much information about yourself on social media could make you more susceptible to identity theft. The following profile elements can be used to steal or misappropriate your identity:
- Full name (particularly your middle name)
- Date of birth (often required)
- Relationship status
- School locations and graduation dates
- Pet names
- Other affiliations, interests and hobbies
Create Strong Passwords
The longer the password, the tougher it is to crack. Mix letters, numbers and special characters. Do not use your name, birthdate or pet’s name in your password. Use a different password for each of your accounts so that if someone hacks into one account, they cannot access all of your accounts.
Protect Your Mobile Device
- Use a passcode to lock your smartphone or tablet when left idle for more than a couple of minutes. Do not use an easy-to-guess code like your birthdate or house number.
- Install updates as soon as they become available.
- Make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date.
Don’t Fall Prey to Phishing Attempts
- Do not click on links or download attachments, even if the message appears to be from someone you know, without first confirming that the message is legitimate. To do this, contact the sender through a verified phone number or email. Do not reply to the email or text message.
- Never share your user name, password or PIN with others. Legitimate companies will not ask you for this information.
- Do not give your Social Security number, financial information or driver’s license number to someone who contacts you out of the blue, no matter who they say they are. Scammers often try to trick consumers into revealing this information by posing as government agencies, law enforcement, utilities, shippers and popular retailers.
- Never give someone remote access to your computer. This is a tactic used by fraudsters, often in conjunction with a tech support scam. The goal is to hack into your computer and steal your user names, passwords and other sensitive information.
If you are targeted by or fall victim to an online scam, report the incident to your local law enforcement agency or the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at consumer.ga.gov or (404) 651-8600.