Protect your privacy
These days you have to fill in forms for everything. Everyone wants to know your name, your address, phone number, email address, date of birth, shoe size… But how can you be sure that the information you provide won’t end up in the wrong hands?
Perhaps not surprisingly, there’s a chance your personal information can end up in the hands of the wrong people if you don’t take precautions with your personal information. By protecting your personal information you’ll limit the chances of your information falling in to the wrong hands and being used to take money from your bank account, or commit fraud in your name.
As part of its Privacy Awareness Week last year, the Privacy Commission put out its top ten tips for protecting personal information:
- Think before you give out personal information, and ask what it will be used for.
- You can ask to see any personal information held about you. If it’s wrong, ask for it to be corrected.
- Don’t like people trying to sell you things by mail or over the phone? You can contact the Marketing Association (0800 347 328) to ask about its Name Removal Service.
- Help keep your kids safe online by encouraging them to talk to you about what they’re doing.
- Protect yourself from identity theft by shredding or burning personal letters, bills and bank statements
- Limit your risk when buying online. Have a separate, low-limit credit card.
- Posting personal information on the internet? Use a nickname if you can.
- Check security procedures in internet cafés and make sure you log out before you leave.
- Get a free copy of your credit record once a year to check that nobody is applying for credit in your name.
- Make sure you’ve got up-to-date safety software on your computer, especially if you bank online.
Check out SCAMwatch to read about scams you need to protect yourself from. If you have been scammed, click on the ‘report a scam’ tab on the website to tell your story.