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10 practical tips to improve privacy

KUALA LUMPUR, 23 February 2021 - Organisations are increasingly making effort to process personal data responsibly, but there are also steps we can take in our personal life to improve our own privacy.

“In an increasingly digital society, personal data have become a new form of currency. We, as individuals have a lot at stake when it comes to data privacy. It is important to take charge and have visibility on how our data are collected, managed and stored. This also includes how our data is shared with third parties,” said Justin Ong, Malaysia Innovation and Regulatory Leader of Deloitte Malaysia.

Here are 10 simple ways you can take to improve your privacy now.

Tip 1 – Use your webcam shutter
When you are not using your webcam, make sure you block the camera with your webcam shutter. If you do not have one that is that is built-in, you can buy one separately or craft one yourself. This shutter prevents unwanted capture of images or videos through spyware.

Tip 2 – Limit collecting cookies
Cookies, and in particular third-party cookies, track your behavior while browsing online. Cookies record a lot of personal information about you and can really impair your online privacy. Though some cookies improve your experience on a website, they are not required for a website to function. You can limit the collection of cooking by deleting the existing cookies, changing the cookie setting within your browser and/or install a cookie blocker (for instance

Tip 3 - Use a privacy proof copy of your ID
When going to a hotel or renting a car, they often ask to make a copy of your ID. To make sure your ID is not used for identify fraud, you can prepare privacy proof copies of your ID in advance! To make them privacy proof, cross out any information that they do not need, for instance identification number, photo and autograph. Also write on the copy the word ‘copy’, with the date and the organisation you give it to.

Tip 4 – Only use messaging systems with end-to-end encryption
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a type of technology where only the communicating users can read the messages. It prevents potential eavesdroppers, including telecom providers and Internet providers, from being able to read your messages. Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegraph use this system.

Tip 5 – Check the app settings on your phone
Within your phone settings, you can see your ‘permissions’, which indicates what apps can for instance track your location, use your microphone or camera. Try to make sure that apps do not have access to these things if they are not necessary for the way you use these apps.

Tip 6 – Create a difficult password and do not use the same password twice
A good password is one that can not easily be guessed (so not ‘password123’). Try to avoid using personal information in your password, do not use real words, add numbers, capital letters and special characters. On way to achieve this is to think of a random sentence and use the first letters of these words as a password. Together with capital letter, numbers, and special characters, your password will then look something like: ‘IHVdhu_88’.

Tip 7 – Do not use public Wi-Fi
It can be tempting to use public Wi-Fi, for instance when you are in a foreign country and do not want to use data roaming. However, public Wi-Fi hotspots can also provide an easy way for identity thieves and cybercriminals to monitor what you’re doing online and to steal your passwords or personal information. Never assume that a public Wi-Fi network is secure, and try to avoid using them.

Tip 8 – Provide fake information
A lot of websites and apps today require you to register in order to use that website or service. Within registration they often ask for a lot of detailed personal information. Frequently, not all of this information is necessary for the working of the websites or apps. There is no shame in using fake personal information in this case (e.g. wrong address, sex, last name, email). Note: Do not do this when official registration is required (for instance for work or the government).

Tip 9 – Make use of your right-to-be-forgotten and right-to-access
If you do not trust an organisation and/or no longer wish to use their services you can always utilise your right-to-be-forgotten and right-to-access.

Tip 10 – Use a VPN
Though not all VPN’s are trustworthy (so do your research!), a VPN can help in protecting your privacy. When a VPN routes your traffic through a server, the connection is encrypted, meaning that only you and the server can decrypt the traffic.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Justin Ong, Malaysia Innovation and Regulatory Leader, Deloitte Malaysia.


About Deloitte Malaysia

In Malaysia, services are provided by Deloitte PLT (LLP0010145-LCA) (AF0080), a limited liability partnership established under Malaysian law, and its affiliates.

© 2021 Deloitte PLT

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