Privacy Awareness Week 2023 – Are you oversharing online?
Over the last 12 months, residents across NSW have witnessed a number of significant cyber-attacks which have put the personal information of many at risk. The last year has shown it is more important than ever for people to understand how they can improve their cyber security.
Government has a role to play in ensuring customers have a choice in how they control their personal information online. Privacy Awareness Week, which takes place from the 1 to 7 May, is a global campaign that highlights the importance of online privacy and how public sector agencies can best protect their customers’ personal information.
The NSW Government is actively taking steps through its NSW Digital ID program to secure the online personal information of its customers, helping them to verify their identity online and transact with convenience and security.
Ten steps to protect your online privacy
Residents need to be vigilant in protecting their own personal information when online. With more day-to-day services being provided digitally, people are exposed to an increasing risk of oversharing their personal information.
According to the NSW Privacy and Information Commissioner, people need to be mindful of the basic principles of safe online behaviour to better protect their privacy.
The following simple steps can help enhance a person’s privacy, keep their identity secure, and reduce the amount of data companies can collect:
- Commit to sharing less personal information online
- Use strong, unique passwords and two-factor authentication
- Tighten privacy settings for accounts for websites you use regularly, including social media
- Delete unused mobile apps and browser extensions
- Block search engines from tracking users by changing the web browser settings, or regularly deleting the search history
- Browse online with a secure Virtual Private Network
- Update devices with software updates as soon as they are available
- Disable ad and data tracking. Users should decline websites from tracking their activity and where possible decline cookies for websites
- Use encryption to keep data from prying eyes
- Remove unnecessary third-party app connections such as using Facebook to log into other apps. Replace single sign-ons with unique logins.
The NSW Government and online privacy
In addition to sharing information to facilitate online transactions, individuals are often asked to provide physical documentation stored by organisations in an online format that may expose them to a cyber breach. Often, these breaches are a result of storing customer information in a way that has left them vulnerable to identity theft.
The NSW Government is taking proactive steps to ensure the people of NSW have the tools they need to ensure the privacy and security of their personal information. The NSW Digital ID will help to stop the overshare of information by putting people in control of how and when their information is shared.
Through the NSW Digital ID and digital wallet, people will be able to safely and securely store their personal information, and control who has access to their verifiable credentials in real time.
Trials of NSW Digital ID have already begun, with all pilot tests receiving more than 90 per cent customer satisfaction.
NSW Digital ID will be optional for people of NSW and will be made available once rigorous testing, audit and reviews are completed to ensure information is safe and secure.
Help for identity theft
For those impacted by identity theft, the NSW Government has established ID Support NSW, a dedicated support service for people impacted by cybercrime and data compromise. ID Support NSW helps customers to obtain replacement Government issued identity documents as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
The service also provides advice on how to keep your personal identity information safe and restore the security of your Identity. You can learn more about the support offered by visiting the website.