Expert offers advice on how to protect online privacy

Expert offers advice on how to protect online privacy

Information security expert Dr Nik Thompson has made videos offering consumers advice about how to protect their privacy online.

A local information security expert and senior lecturer at Curtin University has released a series of videos to help the community stay safe online.

In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, people have been forced to study, work and socialise online, Dr Nik Thompson shared some of his privacy knowledge.

This year’s Privacy Awareness Week theme ‘Reboot your privacy’, that is checking privacy controls, consider alternatives to sharing personal information and deleting unused accounts and data.

Dr Thompson’s explanatory videos will take you on a journey across rebooting your privacy online, including ways to control your audience on social media.

In addition, Dr Thompson talks about his three strategies to avoid giving out personal information online, which he calls them alternative facts, secret shopper and burner email.

“Alternatives for giving out personal information can become quite difficult because many platforms basically demand our details in exchange for an account or a service,” he said.

“Alternative facts are a nice way to describe factually inaccurate information, and from a privacy stand point this is quite useful to us.

“So, whenever you are asked to give your details, like your date of birth, or even your name, you can ask yourself whether that platform really needs that information and whether you are comfortable sharing that information.

“If the platform is your bank or your school, then of course you need to be honest, but if it is a website for movie reviews, perhaps they don’t need that sort of information.”

When it comes to online shopping and surfing online, Dr Thompson also advises people to consider check out methods, and using burner emails to access websites and avoid receiving links or confirmation codes to personal email boxes.

“These platforms can offer you a temporary mailbox, it can generate an email address for you and you can use it on any platform that wants to send you a download link or give you access.

“You can then use this email address, use and simply forget about it.”

To see the videos and find out more visit Nik Thompson’s YouTube channel.