Americans everywhere can join the #PrivacyAware campaign – it’s easy to do and will help generate awareness about the importance of data privacy. Empower others to protect their personal online data by posting, “I am #PrivacyAware, are you?” Find out at


As Americans become more concerned about how their online information is collected and used, NCSA recommends these tips to consumers and businesses for safeguarding their privacy:


  • PERSONAL INFO IS LIKE MONEY: VALUE IT. PROTECT IT. Information about you, such as your purchase history or location, has value – just like money. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it’s collected through apps and websites. You should delete unused apps, keep others current and review app permissions.
  • SHARE WITH CARE. Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what it reveals, who might see it and how it could be perceived now and in the future. It’s a good idea to review your social network friends and all contact lists to ensure everyone still belongs.
  • OWN YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE. Set the privacy and security settings on websites and apps to your comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application or browser you use will have different features to limit how and with whom you share information. It’s OK to ask others for help.
  • LOCK DOWN YOUR LOGIN. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media. Choose one account and turn on the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code sent to your mobile device.
  • KEEP A CLEAN MACHINE. Keep all so ware, operating systems (mobile and PC) and apps up to date to protect data loss from infections and malware.
  • APPLY THE GOLDEN RULE ONLINE. Post only about others as you would have them post about you.
  • SECURE YOUR DEVICES. Every device should be secured by a password or strong authentication – finger swipe, facial recognition etc. These security measures limit access to authorized users only and protect your information if devices are lost or stolen.
  • THINK BEFORE YOU APP. Information about you, such as the games you like to play, your contacts list, where you shop and your location, has tremendous value. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and understand how it’s collected through apps.



In this digitally-connected age, teens and parents continue to spend a lot of time online despite their concerns about security and privacy. Highlights from a recent parent-teen NCSA/Microsoft survey include:

  • 39 percent of teens said they were concerned about their personal information being leaked online and 36 percent had this same worry as it pertains to pictures and videos that are shared privately.
  • Teens and parents are aligned on their top three concerns affecting online teens (ranked as something they are “very concerned” about), which are:
    • Someone accessing a teen’s account without permission (teens 41% vs. parents 41%)
    • Someone sharing a teen’s personal information about them online (teens 39% vs. parents 42%)
    • Having a teen’s photo or video shared that they wanted private (teens 36% vs. parents 34%)
  • 57 percent of teens say they have created an account that their parents are unaware of, such as for a social media site or an app they wanted to use.


Most households now run networks of devices linked to the internet, including computers, gaming systems, household assistants, home robots, TVs, tablets, smartphones and wearables. Your devices make it easy to connect to the world around you, but they can also track a lot of information about you and your friends and family, such as your contacts, photos, videos, location and health and nancial data.

  • According to a 2016 survey by NCSA and ESET, nearly one in four people (24%) use an app from their mobile device or computer to remotely access or control devices in their home (e.g., front door lock, home security system, TV, thermostat).
  • 42 percent of parents’ households use either Google’s voice assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana multiple times a day.
  • 89 percent of people would like all of their household devices to be seamlessly connected together in the future.
  • Up to 50 connected or Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be in use in the average connected home by 2020.
  • In 2016 alone, 2.2 billion data records were compromised and vulnerabilities were uncovered in IoT products from leading brands.
  • Nearly 40 percent of people say they are concerned about connected-home devices tracking their usage and more than 40 percent said they are worried that such gadgets would expose too much about their daily lives.
  • While 85 percent of enterprises are in the process of or intend to deploy IoT devices, only 10 percent feel con dent that they could secure those devices against security threats, according to AT&T’s Cybersecurity Insights Report.


Social media – which includes everything from personal news updates, photo sharing and live streaming video – continues to be a very popular online activity. As convenient and fun as these platforms are for all age groups to communicate, privacy se ings don’t always prevent personal information from being shared beyond the intended audience and without a user’s knowledge.

  • 41 percent of Americans have been personally subjected to harassing behavior online and nearly one in five (18%) has been subjected to particularly severe forms of harassment online, such as physical threats, harassment over a sustained period, sexual harassment or stalking.
  • Eighty-two percent of cyberstalkers use social media to nd out information about potential victims – for example, where they live and which school they a end.
  • The NCSA/Microsoft 2017 “Keeping up with Generation App” survey revealed that across the board from a privacy perspective, teens report that they are “very concerned” about someone:
    • Accessing their accounts without their permission (41%)
    • Sharing personal information about them online that they prefer to keep private (39%)
    • Posting a private photo or video of them online (36%)


In today’s connected environment, retail businesses are a treasure trove for cybercriminals – housing banking information, shipping and billing addresses and other customer browsing preferences and data. Today’s online shoppers need to be more careful than ever about protecting their personal data and ensuring they are doing business over secure networks.

  • 66 percent of U.S. consumers want companies to earn their trust by being more open and transparent with how their information is being used.
  • More than 70 percent of consumers are unaware of tools they can use to control or limit the usage of their personal data.
  • Nearly one-third of consumers do not know that many of the “free” online services they use are paid for via targeted advertising made possible by the tracking and collecting of their personal data.
  • Almost 77 percent would like more transparency on the ads being targeted to them based on the personal data the internet companies collect.
  • A Fraud Watch Network survey found that about 4 out of 10 consumers use free Wi-Fi at least once a month, and among those, one-third had made a purchase with a credit card in the last six months.


Medical and health information is among the most sensitive and personal information about people. Technology can greatly improve the delivery of medical and health services and outcomes for patients. We have already seen medical professionals moving into digital record keeping and are in the rst phase of connecting medical devices to the internet. Medical organizations, including insurance companies, collect large volumes of data that we report on our devices, including our Social Security numbers, nancial information, medical history and current health status. This data can be immensely valuable to cybercriminals and so intensely personal that patients would be deeply impacted if it was lost or stolen. Recent statistics found that:

  • Four in five U.S. physicians have had cyberattacks in their practices, according to an Accenture survey.
  • About 78 percent of respondents to a recent survey of healthcare professionals said they’d had either a malware and/or ransomware attack in the last 12 months.
  • Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, it’s illegal for healthcare providers to share patients’ treatment information. More than 30,000 reports regarding privacy violations are received each year.
  • According to a recent HIMSS study, the vast majority of provider respondents (77%) cited medical identity the as cybercriminals’ primary motivation.
  • Insiders are also remaining a constant challenge for healthcare, accounting for 96 incidents or 41percent of data breaches this year so far. More than 1.17 million patient records were breached by insider error or wrongdoing.


The National Cyber Security Alliance’s (NCSA) privacy awareness campaign is an integral component of STOP. THINK. CONNECT.TM – the global online safety, security and privacy campaign. Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe and is officially led by NCSA in North America. Cisco and Intel are Leading Sponsors of the 2018 privacy awareness campaign. ForgeRock and AT&T Services Inc. are Contributing Sponsors. Yubico is a Supporting Sponsor. The hashtag for NCSA’s privacy campaign efforts is #PrivacyAware.


The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is the nation’s leading nonprofit, public-private partnership promoting cybersecurity and privacy education and awareness. NCSA works with a broad array of stakeholders in government, industry and civil society. NCSA’s primary partners are the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and NCSA’s Board of Directors, which includes representatives from ADP; Aetna; AT&T Services Inc.; Bank of America; Barclays; CDK Global, LLC; Cisco; Comcast Corporation; ESET North America; Google; Facebook; LifeLock, Inc.; Logical Operations; NXP Semiconductors; RSA, the Security Division of EMC; Symantec Corporation; Intel Corporation; Marriott International; MasterCard; Microsoft Corporation; PayPal; Raytheon; PKWARE; Salesforce; SANS Security Awareness; TeleSign; Visa and Wells Fargo. NCSA’s core efforts include National Cyber Security Awareness Month (October); Data Privacy Day (Jan. 28) and STOP. THINK. CONNECT.TM, the global online safety awareness and education campaign co-founded by NCSA and the Anti Phishing Working Group, with federal government leadership from DHS. For more information on NCSA, please visit

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