Monday, January 28, 2019

Privacy Please

Today is Data Privacy Day, an international event to raise awareness about online privacy and security. As noted on the event's website, "Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. Data Protection Day commemorates the Jan. 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection."

The Data Privacy Day website includes practical tips to Stay Safe Online. Three easy steps that everyone can take today to increase their online privacy and security include:
  • Strengthen your passwords. Did you know that current members of the Duke community can download the password management service LastPass Premium for free? LastPass and other services like it will help you create long, extra-strength passwords, which are then stored securely in a "vault" – leaving you with only one master password to remember going forward.
  • Cover your cameras. You may already know that the webcams on your laptop and other devices could be vulnerable to third-party access. Protect yourself with a camera cover – and if you would like an upgrade from a piece of tape or a sticky tab, stop by the library's service desk to pick up a free sliding camera cover, courtesy of LexisNexis (while supplies last).
  • Try out a privacy-conscious search engine or browser. Earlier this month, Durham-area journals Drew Millard published a lengthy Medium article describing the growth of DuckDuckGo, a search engine that famously does not track its users' activity. Millard also notes that DuckDuckGo search has been incorporated into the web browser Brave, which also does not track its users' activity or data.

Additional security tips can be found at the Data Privacy Day website and at the Duke IT Security Office. For additional information about data privacy law in the U.S. or elsewhere, try a subject search of the Duke Libraries Catalog for "data privacy" and use the "About Places" filter to narrow your results. For help with these or other research questions, be sure to Ask a Librarian.