dpd_englishYesterday was Data Privacy Day. How did you celebrate? Wait, don’t tell me—you didn’t know or make plans? Well, if you didn’t make a big deal out of it yesterday, you should consider spending a few moments considering data privacy today.

Why should you care about privacy? (After all, you’ve got nothing to hide). Because you should have the freedom to choose what information you are willing to share and whom you’d like to share it with. Data Privacy Day was created to give us an excuse to step back to really think about how we can protect our digital footprints.

There are many resources out there to help you and your family learn more about data privacy. For instance, if you’d like to really understand cookies, and how they let websites and advertisers to know more about your online activity, check out this video from the Wall Street Journal:

The National Cyber Security Alliance is also hosting data privacy events all over the country, including many webinars (many are free!) in the coming weeks and months. You can check out the schedule here. The Alliance also has a bunch of great questions to ask yourself (and your kids) about your online presence, such as:

    1. Did you know your online reputation can hurt you?
    What you post will be around for a long time. Think ahead and evaluate if what you post today is what you will want people to know about you in the future.

    2. Would you want your teacher or grandmother to see it?
    Things have a way of getting around the Internet. Just because you send a photo or a message to a friend does not mean they are the only ones who will see it. Think before you send something to make sure you keep your online reputation in mind.

    3. Did you know your online reputation can help you?
    Create a strong, positive personal brand online for yourself online. Show your smarts, thoughtfulness, and mastery of the digital environment. This can help you with school admissions and during job searches.

    4. Are you positive you know where to find privacy settings for all your programs
    or mobile apps?
    Check out this great list so you can make sure you’re not over sharing when you don’t want to.

On the surface, these questions really sound simple, but the thinking about your digital footprint as a personal brand is a really helpful concept. There are many more questions to help you here (including some for your business!).

Finally, If you think you know what you need to know about protecting your online footprint, take this quiz—or, maybe even better yet, have your kids take it! It could make a nice way to start a data privacy conversation and get your kids thinking about protecting their online brand now, before they have regrets.

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