Know your rights

The more you know about your rights, the easier it will be for you to exercise them. Read Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) to know more about your right. Familiarise yourself with the APPs so that you can exercise your rights.

Read privacy policies and collection notices

All entities must have a clearly expressed and up-to-date privacy policy explaining how they will handle your personal information. They must explain the kinds of personal information they collect and use, and what they are going to do with it. They must also say how you can access and correct your personal information and make a privacy complaint. An entity’s privacy policy must also tell you if personal information is likely to be sent overseas.

The privacy policy will usually be available on their website. If you don’t have access to the internet, you can call and ask for a copy. If you don’t understand a privacy policy or notice, ask for an explanation.

Always ask why, how and who

Entities must only collect your personal information by lawful and fair means and, generally, must only collect information that is reasonably necessary for their functions. If you don’t think they should collect the information they are asking for, ask why they want or need it. This helps you to know how your personal information is going to be used. Don’t give out your personal information unless you are comfortable with how it is going to be used.

Check your credit report

It’s important to make sure your credit information is correct. You can access or ask for corrections to your credit report for free. You do not need to use a credit repair agency to get a mistake on your credit report fixed – you can request it yourself. And as always make sure your credit information is correct and up-to-date.

Protect yourself online

There are a lot of ways you can protect your privacy when transacting online.

  • You should never share financial details openly online.
  • Avoid using unsecured Wi-Fi networks for secure transactions.
  • Use different passwords for different accounts, make sure you choose strong passwords and change them regularly.

Be aware of your mobile security

Think about how much of your personal information is stored on your phone, and how many services (such as social media) you stay logged in to. Treat your phone like your wallet, and keep it secured at all times.

Use security software

Using security software on your computer is one of the simplest ways to protect yourself and your privacy.

Be careful what you share on social media

If you use social media sites, make sure that you read their privacy policies, and choose the privacy settings that best suit your needs. Your digital footprint can be forever, so think before you share.

Don’t leave your personal information lying around

Properly destroying personal information, you don’t want others to see before throwing it out will help to protect you from potential identity theft. Securely dispose of hard copy and electronic records.

Beware of scams

There are many online and email scams out there. If you’re not expecting a request to update information, to get a refund, or to /win a prize, don’t give out your personal information until you’re sure it’s legitimate and above-board. If it looks too good to be true, don’t share your personal information!