Skip to navigation Skip to content
Privacy and technology: Improving transparency, accountability and security. Privacy Awareness Week. 6 - 12 May 2024.

6 May 2024

Power up your privacy to protect your personal information from cybercriminals

You might be sharing more information about yourself online than you realise while using and posting on social media and apps. Cybercriminals and scammers may then exploit this info in a way that causes trouble for you.

Privacy Awareness Week, running from Monday 6 until Sunday 12 May 2024, is an annual event to recognise the importance of protecting your personal information.

The year’s theme is ‘Privacy and technology: improving transparency, accountability, and security‘ with a focus on making sure that businesses and organisations respect and protect people’s personal data.

While you should make sure any organisations and groups you are in or involved with are responsible and accountable in the way they handle and use people’s information, it’s also important to do what you can to protect your own information.

So, we’ve put together some basic tips and things to consider to better keep your information and details safe while using apps and social media.

Why it’s important to keep your information secure

When you share details about yourself online, such as your name, birthday or occupation or posting photos or videos of yourself, you can make yourself vulnerable to identity theft. Cybercriminals can use this info to create fake profiles impersonating you and contact your family and friends to try to trick them into fraudulent payments or other scams.

Sharing your current location or holiday plans can also be misused in a number of ways, including letting potential thieves know when your house might be unattended to break into or allowing stalkers or other unwanted people to track your location.

Companies and potential advertisers may also seek to use or sell your information to market towards you.

Thankfully, there are ways in which you can minimise the amount of information you’re sharing.

Check your social media account privacy settings

If you haven’t recently checked the privacy settings on your social media accounts and other apps now is a good time to do so. Different apps and online platforms have their own settings you can manage and change, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X (the app formerly known as Twitter), Snapchat and YouTube, so be sure to use them!

Check out The eSafety Guide for more information.

Device privacy settings

Your smart phone or device may also have its own privacy settings.

On an iPhone you can go to Settings > Privacy to check which tracking and advertising options are active and which ones you would like to limit.

For an Android phone, go to Settings > Privacy and find the Ads section to opt in or out of the ad preferences. Although this may not limit the amount of ads you see, it will make them less personally targeted, if that’s what you prefer.  

DUO Mobile app security checkup

The DUO Mobile app that you will likely have installed to access Deakin applications with Multi-factor Authentication also includes a Security Checkup feature. The app will give you a checklist of potential security vulnerabilities for your device and alert you to what potential security issues it has detected. To access this feature:

  1. open the DUO Mobile app on your device
  2. select the options icon in the top right-hand corner and then choose settings
  3. then select ‘Security Checkup’ from the Settings menu.

Further resources

You can find out more by visiting the following resources.

While there is no way to be 100% safe from people taking and misusing your personal information, following this advice can minimise your risk. Take control of your personal information today!

back to top