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Appendix D – Data Privacy Day 2011 Awareness Events

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Internal Email Message to All Staff

 

Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2011 at 9:19 AM
Subject: Data Privacy Day | Journée de la protection des données

Date Privacy Day 2011 - January 28th

Visit the Privacy Act page for more information…

 

 

Privacy Act

Data Privacy Day 2011: January 28th

Every day people around the world are using powerful technologies and devices to improve their lives. Software is developed, hardware built, and services designed to enhance productivity, communications and safety. We have come to depend on mobile communications, instant access to information and intelligent services, and we’re empowered by these technologies in ways we would never have imagined…even a few years ago.

Despite the benefits of these technologies, doubts and worries persist about just how much personal information is collected, retained, used and disclosed to provide these convenient and pervasive tools and services.

Data Privacy Day is an international celebration of the dignity of the individual expressed through personal information. In this networked world, in which we are thoroughly digitized, with our identities, locations, actions, purchases, associations, movements and histories stored as many bits and bytes, we have to ask – who is collecting all of this – what are they doing with it – with whom are they sharing it? Most of all, individuals are asking ‘How can I protect my information from being misused?’ These are reasonable questions to ask and we should know the answers.

Even WD must question whether they are complying with privacy laws and regulations requiring privacy protections for our clients and staff.

Please take the time to read the 2011 Data Privacy Day posters located throughout WD offices, to learn ways to protect your personal information in your day-to-day lives.

  • Phishing – Don’t Take the Bait!
  • WiFi Predators

 

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Poster: Phishing – Don’t Take the Bait!

Phishing is a criminal activity carried out by fraudsters attempting to obtain sensitive personal information such as passwords and credit card details.  Victims may stumble onto phishing websites by simply mistyping a web address (URL), but usually they receive an e-mail that masquerades as official communication from a trusted source, such as financial institutions and even government departments, and are then directed to reply to the e-mail or go to a phishing website.

Phishing e-mails and websites have become increasingly sophisticated in appearance and are often difficult to distinguish from legitimate ones.  Most create the impression that there is an immediate threat to one of your accounts (e-mail, bank, etc.).  Unfortunately, because there is an implied urgency to respond, victims often supply their personal information.

Don't take the bait and click or respond…

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it is.  And, if the message does not appear authentic, it probably isn't.
  • Delete requests for your password WD’s IT staff will never ask for your password via e-mail…if needed, be sure you know the individual making the request, understand the reason it is needed, then change the password when they have completed their work).  If you supply your passwords…
  • your e-mail accounts may be used to conduct fraud or other illegal activities!
  • your existing financial accounts may be used to withdraw money or make purchases or new bank and credit card accounts opened in your name (identity theft).
  • Be suspicious of requests for financial information or if the message asks you to send your information to them, rather than the other way around.
  • Logon regularly to your online account and check your transactions, grades, etc.
  • Don’t click links to unexpected e-mail.  If you follow links to a phishing site, “drive-by-download” software may take over your computer for criminal purposes or everything you type may be monitored (key stroke monitoring).  Safe alternatives are to type the organizations main URL into your web browser’s address bar and navigate from there, or call the organization using a telephone number from a reliable source (telephone book).  Does the content of the message appear in search engine results?
  • If you hover your mouse over the link, does your browser or security software silently scream at you?
  • Don’t fill out forms embedded in e-mail messages.
  • Avoid using public computers for financial and other sensitive communication (password sniffing software or hardware may be installed on public computers).
  • Seeing silly typos, formatting or grammatical errors a professional would not make.
  • If you don't have an account with the company supposedly sending the email!
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it is.  And, if the message does not appear authentic, it probably isn't.

 

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Poster: Beware of the Wi-Fi Predator

It’s great! A Wi-Fi network makes life more comfortable because you can access the Internet from portable devices from virtually every corner of your home or in Wi-Fi zones even in your favourite coffee shops without those pesky cables getting in the way! Amazing!

But the downside is obvious (or maybe not to some technophobes)… you can’t stop the radio signals from going out of your home or Wi-Fi zone. That means if you haven’t enabled security to your wireless router, even the most inept neighbour can snoop and easily piggyback on your Wi-Fi connection.

Despite warnings to Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, insecure surfing leaves your accounts open to hijacking. Just think, your neighbour or child’s friend might be hacking into your personal networks and scooping up bank passwords from just across the street or even in the next room!

Naturally, if your neighbour can do this, just think what a Wi-Fi predator can do! Someone can do something illegal on the Internet through your network, and you end up guilty. Victims could find it difficult to go after the Wi-Fi predator because how do you figure out who they are!

Tips to safeguard against the Wi-Fi predator…or even the simple snoop!

  1. Don’t use open Wi-Fi networks. If you must, when signing into Facebook, Twitter, your e-mail or other websites that require user authentication, ensure the web address starts with https…”s” stands for secure. Some sites, like banks, automatically default to https. Others like Facebook and Twitter don’t, but you can choose that option.
  2. To switch to a secure connection, go to the address bar and add an “s” to http. When you do this, you’ll find yourself at the secure sites. Be sure to bookmark the secure site (i.e. https://facebook.com).
  3. Use tools like the Firefox plug-in Force-TLS to force sites to use https, a move that makes any data transferred between your computer and the website it accesses unreadable to predators and snoops (Force-TLS – https://addons.mozilla.org).
  4. Make sure you logout of any networks that require authentication when moving to a new wireless location. When you reach your new location, login again, making sure it’s over an https connection.
  5. Use WD’s virtual private network (VPN) or set up your own VPN, although that is a complicated option the casual computer user wouldn’t want to undertake, for government-related business.

 

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