Cyber Weekend: Protect Your Personal Data and Privacy
Black Friday, 25th November 2016 – Cyber Monday, 28th November 2016.
With data and privacy breaches being reported almost daily, there has never been a better time to plan for ordering online than today!
Checking the sites which you are looking to order from now may save time, money and anxiety later on.
Research Now. Don’t Leave It Until The Last Minute
Check The Site Details
According to consumer rights group, Which? Online shopping is rarely offered by domain names that end in .net or .org so be aware of this.
Never buy anything from a site that does not have ‘https’ at the start of the URL. The ‘s’ stands for secure. There should also be a green padlock to the left of the browser. Be sure the padlock is not on the page itself.
Also be aware that not all .co.uk domains are actually operated/hosted in the UK, (see privacy below).
Any site operated on behalf of or targeting an EU citizen should have a cookie notice when you visit the site.
“It’s designed to protect online privacy, by making consumers aware of how information about them is collected and used online, and gives them a choice to allow it or not”. Source : Cookielaw.org
While cookies can make return visits to the site easier to manage, remember that most, if not all web browsers come furnished with the ability to delete history and cookie data.
The ability to delete your web browsing history is also essential if using a shared device and wanting to surprise your loved one. Not deleting the history could just spoil the surprise!
Not everyone’s favourite subject, but with the online frenzy that is the Black Friday and Cyber Monday phenomenon, it’s perhaps the most important weekend to be mindful of exactly what personal data we divulge and how that data is going to be used.
Providing privacy information is a requirement of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) in the UK.
Each site, at the very least, should display a privacy notice/policy detailing:-
- Who they are
- What they are going to do with your information; and
- Who your information will be shared with
If the site wants you to consent to direct marketing, they should have a separate unticked opt-in box for this, prominently displayed.
The DPA also states in principle 8 that:-
“Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the EEA unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data” Source: ICO
There are exceptions which are also included on the link above, but the most important concerns the USA, where only organisations who have signed up to the new EU-US Privacy Shield are deemed as providing adequate protection to allow personal data to be transferred to the US.
Guard your personal information while online, especially over Cyber Weekend.
Remember how you pay for goods is also important, the Money Advice Service has guidance on Shopping and Paying Safely Online