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Privacy Awareness Week reminds Australians to keep personal information protected

Australia marked its Privacy Awareness Week all over the country from 12 to 18 May 2019. The weeklong event shone a spotlight on personal information and how it should be protected.

According to a recent press release, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) encouraged consumers, business and government agencies to focus on a series of privacy priorities throughout the week.

These priorities included data breaches, online security, credit reports and health information.

The central message of the campaign is “Don’t be on the dark on privacy”.

Prioritising protection of personal information

Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk shared that the record support for the event shows privacy has come into sharp focus as a leading priority for organisations and the community.

Personal information is a vital input into the economy and the government agencies. Managing this information responsibly, as organisations face increasingly complex data protection challenges, is critical.

Privacy Awareness Week is an important opportunity to demonstrate this shared commitment to making privacy and data protection a priority.

More than 450 organisations have signed up as supporters this year, so that they can spread the message about the importance of good privacy practice and respecting personal information rights.

Now in its 14th year, Privacy Awareness Week is held every May as an initiative of the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities.

The Privacy Awareness Week has a website that contains event information, posters and digital assets to download.

How to protect privacy

Moreover, the website also features privacy resources for organisations and individuals, including the top ten recommendations to protect privacy in one’s daily life. These recommendations are:

  1. Know your rights, which serve as a reminder that privacy is valuable and worth protecting. Being informed will help in exercising one’s rights.
  2. Read privacy policies and collection notices. Asking for an explanation is essential if one cannot understand a privacy policy or notice.
  3. Always ask why, how and who. One should not give out personal information unless comfortable with how it is going to be used.
  4. Check your credit report to guarantee that the credit information is correct and up to date.
  5. Protect yourself online, which can be done by using strong passwords. Avoid using the same ones across different accounts.
  6. Be aware of your mobile security. Mobile phones should be treated like your wallet and keep it secured at all times.
  7. Use security software. Ensure that the online security tools are kept up to date.
  8. Be careful with what is being shared on social media and other digital platforms. Use the privacy settings to control the amount and type of information being shared.
  9. Do not leave personal information lying around. Securely dispose of hard copy and electronic records.
  10. Beware of scams. If it looks too good to be true, do not share personal information.
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