Back to basics on privacy

03 May 2023

Privacy – it's a human right.

Today marks the beginning of Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) 2023 - an annual event raising awareness within the public sector and the broader community about the importance of protecting and respecting personal information.

CQUniversity takes privacy seriously and Coordinator of Records and Privacy, Jamie Stehbens said PAW was a great reminder that every day we can do essential things to protect our privacy, and the privacy of others.

"Privacy is a fundamental human right, and it is the law," Mr Stehbens said.

"As a statutory authority established under Queensland legislation, CQUniversity must comply with the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld), and the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld).

"Now, more than ever, we need to ensure we are getting privacy right."

This year's PAW theme is 'Privacy 101: Back to Basics' and Mr Stehbens said PAW was the perfect time for a refresher.

"We're going back to basics and sharing helpful tips on how to protect personal information," he said.

"After recent events such as the Medibank and Optus data breaches, people are more aware of the impact of privacy breaches. They have high expectations that organisations will keep their personal information safe.

"Personal information is valuable, and not just to the person it belongs to so you must treat your personal information like the asset it is. Don't share it without good reason, and only share what's necessary."

CQUniversity's Director of Data and Cybersecurity Peter Vanheck said PAW was a timely reminder for people to update their privacy settings.

"Always check what you are saying 'yes' to," Mr Vanheck explained.

"Many websites, apps and devices share your personal information by default. Check if you are sharing any information that you'd rather keep private.

"For example, your location data can be combined with other information to create an accurate picture about you. It might reveal how you travel to work, where you live and where you are right now - which is not necessarily information you'd want to share with just anyone."

Mr Vanheck also recommends using multi-factor authentication and strong passphrases to protect your accounts.

"Passphrases are made up of four or more random words, making them longer - and safer - than a traditional password. This makes them harder to guess but easy to remember," he said.

"If multi-factor authentication is given as an option for a system or app you are on, use it. It provides an important extra layer of security for your accounts."