Tuesday, February 9, 2021

CEN Advisory: Protecting Your Privacy

Most of us like to protect our privacy, not that we have anything to hide but our personal business should remain private. Aside from privacy, hackers and other nosy individuals may seek information which may be used against you to hack into your computer or personal accounts.  While not foolproof, there are several steps we can take to protect privacy and information.

First, make a point to change your passwords on a regular basis. If you’re like me I don’t remember my password all the time, so I’ve adapted using Scripture like John 3:16 or Joshua 1:8. If you need additional characters you can always add your preferred translation such as NIV at the end. Another option is to use a first word or two of a hymn like A Mighty Fortress is our God. We all know using the name of the child or pet +123 is a bad idea.

 A good tool to protect your smartphone is Signal, a free downloadable App. The service provides security between users, and you should encourage others in your group to participate because you need both sides of the communication covered by Signal. 

Additionally, all computers must have anti-virus protection to keep malware out of your computer, as hackers frequently use this as a door to your personal data and information. Keep in mind that your smart phone and iPads also need protection, and many services offer combination packages covering different types of devices.

Further, always turn off requests to share your location when asked. Otherwise, hackers may be able to track your exact whereabouts using your own device. Frequently on our home computers we see the pop-up asking us to share location, the answer should always be no.

Also, best to avoid unknown Wi-Fi networks. Assuming our device has its own Wi-Fi better to utilize that feature rather than clicking into a network which may or may not be safe. An exception may be networks which you know are safe like a hospital or coffee shop, but still best to use your own connections to avoid others from hacking your Personal data.

Don’t ignore the privacy settings on your computer. We may easily click through without paying much attention accepting limited privacy. Also, companies frequently alter their privacy settings and, in those situations, frequently the previous settings are not kept so you must update them, or you may inadvertently be opting into a lot more data sharing than you planned. Pay attention to the terms and conditions, which tend to change quickly, and make sure you’re comfortable with agreements. Hundreds of thousands of Robin Hood investors failed to understand that their trade-off of free trades was information that was sold to hedge funds.

Another safeguard is to understand hackers, once inside your computer, may get access to your device’s camera. If you don’t use your camera frequently a piece of duct tape or post it note will do the job of covering the camera. Simply remove when you want to participate in a conference. Do keep in mind however if somebody has slipped into your computer this will not protect you from being overheard.

Consider implementing one or more of these ideas to improve the security and confidentiality of your information and communications. Paul wrote, “And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you” (1 Thessalonians 4:11) As we mind our own affairs, we want to take steps to ensure others don’t invade our personal business.


Take the journey of learning how to become ready spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically for ministering in disasters large and small, check out Ready Christian.  

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post. In addition, it is a Best Practice to make sure your social media settings are all private. All to often we get calls about people that are being harassed or stalked by a disgruntled customer that found out where they live and other personal info on a social media platform. Social media is a great way to share the things we cherish with those trusted individuals we love.