Bret Ellis, Weber State University

Bret Ellis
Vice President of Information Technology

(801) 626-7889

Bret Ellis - Vice President for Information Technology

The Privacy Discussion

As a parent, my wife or I would always tell our children to "protect your private parts" or to "keep your private parts covered."  I heard or saw many parents doing or saying the same phrases to their children.  What happened? ... this early education obviously hasn't translated into keeping private data private or to keep it out of public view.  Users of all generations are beginning to learn the consequences of sharing or not protecting their private information.  True, some of this private data is being shared without the approval of the owner...for example Target customers but I'm talking about ways to protect data and information about us proactively.

Some of these data indiscretions include the consequences of charges made to a credit card, withdrawals from a bank account, all with potential future credit problems and inability to get a job or admittance to a university.  It has been said that "anything a person says or does online, from a status update to a selfie, can and will be used as evidence against them on the Internet.”  A recent statement from a "millenial" student was " if I'm not doing something wrong, why keep information about me private?"

A few words of advice from a "baby-boomer".... 1) review the privacy settings on your social networks, 2) Opt out of state and national databases such as, 3) never share information such as birth year, or address in your profiles.  4) using a debit card is great for budgeting but have some risks...check the account activity regularly, 5) if in doubt about an on-line requests for your information, contact the company in a different way to double check the veracity of the company and finally 6) while it may be difficult to control who posts pictures of you on their pages, respectfully request that they be taken down if they would make your mom blush.

Here's to a long and successful life and best wishes in keeping your data parts private

Dr. Bret Ellis

Weber State UniversityOgden, Utah 84408

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