Privacy FAQ

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Why should I be concerned with the privacy of my information? I have nothing to hide…
What are some simple steps to protect my privacy online?
Do I own my personal data?
What should I do if my [account] is hacked?
How do I safely dispose of electronic and paper information?

 

 

Why should I be concerned with the privacy of my information? I have nothing to hide…

The goal of privacy is not to hide bad behavior. Privacy is having a degree of control or discretion over your own information, respect shown for your personal space, and the ability to be left alone. In that sense, everyone has something worth protecting.

 

What are some simple steps to protect my privacy online?

  1. Share with care! Once something is posted to social media, sent via email or messaging services, or shared through online surveys and forms, that information may no longer be in your control.
  2. Learn about privacy settings for the online accounts that you do use so you are aware of how to limit what you share and with whom. Ask questions or omit information from online forms with optional fields if you don’t feel comfortable with disclosure.
  3. Turn on multi-factor authentication protections for your online accounts wherever possible. A password alone may not be enough protection for your information. Many online services now offer multi-factor authentication as an additional security option.

 

Do I own my personal data?

It depends. If you don’t have time to read the fine print for services you use, learn how your data may be used by major online companies on “Terms of Service; Didn’t Read” or ToS;DR.

 

What should I do if my [account] is hacked?

If your Cornell NetID has been compromised, please consult instructions on what to do if you have a problem with your account. If you need help, then either contact the IT Service Desk, local IT Support, or the IT Security Office for further guidance.

For other non-Cornell online accounts, this may require you to call the organization (bank, wireless provider, utilities, etc.) to confirm your identity prior to restoring access to your account.

In other cases, it may be challenging to regain control over your account when there is no phone number to call for support (free email accounts and some shopping services). In these cases, there are usually online instructions for how to reset your account using either backup codes or secondary contact details. Note: be sure that these secondary contact details are kept up to date and consider turning on multi-factor authentication to further protect your account and information!

 

How do I safely dispose of electronic and paper information?

  1. Please read instructions for disposing of confidential information for general guidance.
  2. Disposing of old Cornell business machines is a supported process on campus.
  3. For personal devices, check a local computer repair shop or consider these safe disposal recommendations for wiping your hard drives and devices in a secure manner on your own.