The Information and Privacy Commissioner is reminding Albertans to take steps to protect their privacy on mobile devices during Privacy Awareness Week, May 4 to 10.
Privacy Awareness Week is an international initiative held every year to promote awareness of privacy issues and the importance of the protection of personal information.
While mobile devices have transformed the way we communicate, live, and work, they have also created new risks to the security of personal information. Much like our wallets, these tiny pocket computers often hold a significant amount of personal information and are easily lost or stolen.
Individuals can protect their personal information on mobile devices by following these tips:
- Limit the personal information that is stored on mobile devices to that which is necessary.
- Protect your device with a strong password that includes a combination of letters, numbers and special characters, and set the automatic lock feature so a password is required to unlock the device.
- Educate yourself about privacy controls or settings available on your device or through your service provider.
- Never leave your mobile device unattended in a public place or a vehicle.
- Only install applications from trusted sources.
- Consider installing applications that allow you to track your device and remove or erase data from your device remotely in the event of loss or theft.
- Consider using encryption technology and install and run anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your mobile device for added protection.
- Don’t send personal data over public wireless networks as they may not be secure.
- Ensure that all personal data stored on your mobile device is purged prior to disposal.
Canada’s Privacy Commissioner has released an app that walks individuals through ten simple steps to help better protect privacy on mobile devices. Android and Blackberry users can download the myPRIVACYapp for free through the mobile app store.
The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta works independently of government to protect the access and privacy rights of all Albertans.