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Monday 19.03.2018 | Name days: Jāzeps

Waiting for new EU laws: how to protect your data from third party access

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In order to increase general awareness about personal data security, European Parliament Information Office has prepared a list of recommendations on how residents can protect their personal data from third party access.

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUWith the coming of the digital age, people have become addicted to online services and so on. This includes side-effects of this addiction – large volumes of personal data become available on the internet as they are provided to online traders and service providers. Experts say many people have no idea that their devices can be accessed whenever they download something off the internet.

1.Resident are advised to avoid using one and the same password on multiple websites. Passwords should be as complex as possible

2.Regularly erase cookies of your internet browser. This will reduce the chances of anyone tracing information.

3.Do not keep your internet banking page open at the same time with any public networks. When booking flights or rooms in hotels or simply paying for things on the internet, residents are advised to use payment cards that have relatively small amounts of money deposited.

4.It is relatively easy for fraudsters to acquire information about a person’s spending habits just from posts in social networks. Journalist Elza Jēkabsone provides a couple of good examples: as art of an experiment, students would compile all information they could about five unknown persons by looking up their posts in Twitter, LinkedIn and other social network profiles. As a result, they learned many ‘private’ details about their lives.

5.Nowadays children learn to use different electronic devices before they even know how to read or write. It is no less important to teach them how to protect their personal information than it is to teach them to brush their teeth or cross the road.

6.Always keep in mind what information you provide to others. There have been cases in Latvia when customers start receiving different services they never asked for after registering a client card. Companies often allow third parties to access sensitive information of their customers. Always ask why companies require specific personal information. You have the right to request that a company stops phoning you and sending you different advertisements of services you have no intention of using.

7.When applying for a customer loyalty card, residents are not obligated to provide their address or telephone number.

8.Always carefully read offers and conditions when buying things on the internet. It is possible that the service provider or trader will try to weasel in some additional conditions in his favour (automatic contract term extension if a customer does not inform him about his decision to stop using some service).

9.Only visit websites you trust. If you are asked to provide your e-mail address but you do not want to have your mailbox filled with SPAM, use non-existent e-mail addresses.

10.Every person has the right to request to be provided with information the state has on him or here, as well as information on those who were provided access to it. Residents can also go to to find out information about them compiled from 32 registers.

Data security is a two-way line – business and residents’ interests are equally important. According to statistical data compiled by the European Parliament, 74% of residents believe disclosure of personal data is unavoidable nowadays. 72% of respondents are concerned over having to reveal their personal data too often on the internet.

Considering that data protection acts of the EU were developed before the internet era, the European Commission has developed a proposal of a reform to introduce new data protection principles in the EU.


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