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Tips to Help Canadians use Privacy Settings

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New Tips to Help Canadians use Privacy Settings to Protect Themselves Online

GATINEAU, QC, March 22, 2019 /CNW/ – The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) has published advice for Canadians on how to set and adjust privacy settings.

The new Tips for using privacy settings offer advice related to privacy settings when using social media sites or other online services, mobile devices and mobile apps, home digital assistants, wearables and online games.

The best way to control personal information online is not to hand it over in the first place. Recognizing that may not always be practical or possible, one way to try to protect privacy is to use settings. Helpful tips include:

  • Learn what personal information is collected and the privacy controls available before you sign up for a service or download an app. If you’re not comfortable, don’t sign up for it;
  • Explore and adjust privacy settings (default settings can often leave you exposed);
  • Look for options to turn off location-based settings or limit tracking to when you’re using the service;
  • Coordinate your settings so they stay the same even if you’re using a different device;
  • Look for options that allow you to set your history to delete on a regular basis; and
  • Don’t think of your settings as something you do once and forget about. Many sites regularly modify their settings options, so review them frequently. There’s also value in going back to evaluate your settings to make sure you’re still comfortable with your previous decisions.

Privacy settings are not a silver bullet for privacy protection, but they can and should help people increase the control they have over how their personal information is handled online, and help them indicate whether they consent to the collection, use and disclosure of their information.

Because settings are a way that people can decide what to share – and not share – companies need to be very clear and transparent about what control people may or may not be able to exercise through settings.

Find more information and advice about the privacy issues and risks associated with social media, online services and apps and devices on the OPC’s website.

SOURCE: Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

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