Privacy Toolkit

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These days, it’s uncommon if you don’t know someone who has been affected by a scam, has been the target of identity theft, or has been compromised online.

People define privacy in many ways, but one important aspect is controlling your personal information, or in other words, being able to choose who knows what about you. In a world where many of your activities are recorded, perfect privacy is unlikely. Chances are, you’re expected to use the Internet for your job or in your personal life. But even if you don’t go online, your activities are being tracked and recorded. Whether a security camera tracks your progress through the mall, or your computer shares information about its identity when you visit a website, your activities leave footprints that others can follow. As a result, online privacy is a concern for everyone.

Whenever you conduct business or talk to a friend, you are sharing information, but chances are, you wouldn’t want just anybody to know that information. The key to managing privacy in the information age is understanding the current technology well enough to make informed choices about what information you share and who sees it. You don’t have to be a computer expert –  ­­ everyone can learn some basic steps to better manage their privacy.

Stay Informed: Recommended Articles

No one imagines it happening to them, but all kinds of people can experience identity theft or be taken advantage of by people acting fraudulently. These resources will help you guard against defrauders and guide you through the necessary actions should you become a victim of this kind of crime.

Online privacy tips:  3 ways to control your digital privacy footprint, from PCC World

Protect your privacy online, from USA.gov

Protecting Yourself from Money Scams, from the National Council on Aging

5 Alternative search engines that respect your privacy, from How-to-Geek

Surveillance Self-Defense, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Student & Minor’s Privacy Guide, from ALA.org

Stay Informed: Recommended Websites

The Federal Trade Commission:
If you believe you’re a victim of identity theft, act quickly and follow the Federal Trade Commission’s clear, easy steps on what to do.

Money Matters: Scam Watch:
This easy to use website from the Federal Trade Commission offers tips and information on identifying whether or not a product, service, or offer of work is legitimate.

OnGuardOnline.gov:
This site is designed to help consumers avoid a whole range of scams, from text message scams, to online scams, to money transfer scams, and more.

FINRA’s BrokerCheck:
Before you invest, check this site to research the background of stockbrokers and brokerage firms.

Fraud: An Inside Look:
This brief video from the Federal Trade Commission examines the astonishingly easy way a scammer separated a lot of people from a great deal of their money.