Even if you’re the sort of person who is happy to share your daily life with anyone, it is still important for you to know how to protect your private information.
Why? Well one very good reason for taking care about whom you share your birthdate, driver licence number or address (for example) with, is that someone unscrupulous could use it to commit identity theft
. They could, for example, take out a loan, apply for benefits or break the law under your identity.
It’s possible for someone to get hold of your personal information without your knowledge by stealing your wallet or going through your recycling (it's a good idea to get into the habit of shredding printed correspondence containing private information). However the richest mine of easily accessible information about any individual is probably the Internet.
There are some simple steps you can take to get control over how much information about you is available online, and to whom. They include using the privacy settings on your social media profiles, keeping your computer’s security software up to date, and thinking twice before giving out personal information.
Lots more useful information about how to protect your private information is on the Privacy Commissioner website:
If you have a smartphone, it’s also well worth reading the information from NetSafe to help you understand the privacy settings on your phone
You can also find the answers to burning questions about privacy on our Privacy
During Privacy Week
(3 – 9 May) a number of organisations are holding events to promote privacy awareness. Check out the list of events in New Zealand