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ICT, Security

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: what information are you sharing online?

5 October 2023

Social media is a fun way to share what’s on your mind and keep up to date with news and developments. The downside is that many apps we use daily are constantly looking over our shoulders. They know where we are, what we look up, what we take photos and videos of and even what we say. We therefore need to be conscious about using online apps. Because once something is on the internet it’s very hard to remove it later.

Below are some tips for sharing information safely online. Be sure to scroll to the video where hacking genius Granny Smith shows how cybercriminals can easily misuse your online data!

Check your privacy settings

Social media platforms offer ways to control what information you share and with whom. For example, can everyone view your profile or only your friends? Can others leave comments under your posts? And do you want to give the social media app access to your photos or location? Check the app’s privacy settings to decide what you want to share with others and the social media platform. And check these settings regularly, as the options for protecting or publishing information are constantly changing.

Find out what others see about you

When was the last time you Googled yourself? If you do so regularly, you can see which information, images and videos of you are publicly available. Set up a Google Alert for your name that notifies you whenever new content about you is posted online.

Don't share sensitive information online

Always be careful when sharing personal information, such as your phone number or home or e-mail address. If you do have to share this information with someone, never do so through a social media platform. Make sure you know who you are sharing the data with and why they need this information.

Leiden University social media guidelines

Want more information on using social media safely? You’ll find eight social media tips on the staff members site. The page also has guidelines for students and staff on the use of social media.

Video: how your online information can be easily misused

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October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The number of cyber incidents in research and education − and other sectors too − is on the rise. Many of these incidents are related to staff actions. As a university, we therefore think it important to spend the month of October raising cybersecurity and privacy awareness.

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