Saturday, April 17, 2021

Is It Time to Revisit Your Privacy Settings?

when to check privacy settings

Cybersecurity is a hot topic, especially as more and more issues regarding it rise up from big companies. Part of the issue is that people haven’t passed legislation sufficient to address the current reality of cybercrime. How do privacy laws in the physical world translate to privacy laws online? Most legislation doesn’t have an answer to this question.

That’s why it’s so important for you to pay attention to your own security. Even if there isn’t legislation specifically addressing certain elements of privacy, you need to take it into your own hands. It’s probably a good idea to revisit your privacy settings if you:

-Haven’t checked it in a while

-Have a new phone

-May be a victim of a data breach

-Recently experienced privacy issues


It’s Been a Long Time

In general, you should revisit your privacy settings at least once every few months. Sometimes privacy settings may change without warning. Or companies may send out emails regarding changing privacy settings that you lose in your email inbox.

No matter what phone or computer you have, it should be pretty easy to check your privacy settings. Because cybersecurity is more important than ever, most developers and software engineers have made privacy settings more transparent. If an app uses too much information, you’re likely to catch it as long as you check your privacy settings regularly.

You Recently Got a New Phone

Although this is important for any new phone, it’s especially important if you’re completely moving over to a new operating system. For example, although you should definitely check your settings if you upgrade from an iPhone X to an iPhone 11, it’s even more important if you’re moving from an iPhone X to a Samsung Galaxy.

You should stick to these guidelines for a brand new OS as well. Though a minor update doesn’t necessarily warrant a look through all your settings, a major update — such as an update from iOS 13 to iOS 14 — should prompt you to look at your privacy settings again. Many upgrades will inform you of any important privacy changes, and in this modern era, a lot of those privacy changes actually help you stay safer. Still, you might as well do a quick check.

You’ve Heard About a Data Breach

Data breaches happen more frequently than you might think. But if you’re not tuned into cybersecurity news, you probably only hear about the really significant ones. True, these are often the ones that need the most attention, but you should probably at least check your security settings and change some passwords if you hear about even a minor data breach.

This is, of course, even more important if it’s a significant breach. There are a few types of significant breaches: ones that expose lots of people’s information, ones that expose lots of different types of non-sensitive information, and ones that expose extremely sensitive information.

If you notice a significant breach, which major news sources will usually report on, make sure you react according to the information the breach leaked.

You’re Experiencing Privacy Issues Elsewhere

In today’s era, many people are electronically connected to lots of things at once. Your phone and computer probably run on the same wi-fi network most of the time, you’re probably signed in to the same accounts on multiple devices, and you might even have smart technology helping you with these connections.

Although this can make life easier for you, it can also mean that a privacy breach in one area can actually show up in another one. So, when you experience privacy issues in one device, you should check the settings in your other devices as well.

After you’ve done that, you should also take things one step further and check your own information to make sure that nothing has leaked out due to a breach. Be sure to keep a close eye on your credit report. And periodically check what’s showing up in your public records to verify that your information is accurate.

Privacy is, of course, an important part of your life, and that includes both physical and online safety. You don’t want to learn about a data breach and have no recourse. You also don’t want to live with a privacy leak you don’t know about. Keep an eye on your privacy settings and personal information to keep yourself and your connections to the online world safe and secure.

For more information about cybersecurity and other online privacy practices, you can find more articles on such subjects on the PeopleFinders blog.

Image attribution: daviles –

PeopleFinders was launched in 1999 to give people easy access to public records data. The PeopleFinders mission is to find, organize and make information accessible - empowering people with meaningful answers.

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