Tips for protecting personal information online

16 May 2017


With the recent alarming headlines regarding the global malware cyber-attack, the question of how to protect personal information online has never been more relevant.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) has released some straightforward and practical guidance on how best to protect personal information online.

The ICO’s advice can be summarised as follows:

  • Treat an online transaction the same way you would when conducting a transaction face to face. This means, if you are asked for personal information, ask yourself if you know who is collecting the information, does the information need to be collected and what will be done with the information once collected.
  • If you are being asked to provide personal information, the website should have a privacy policy or statement. This should outline who is collecting the information, what it will be used for and if it will be shared with other organisations.
  • If you are unable to answer any of the above questions or if you cannot see the websites privacy policy, you should think carefully about whether you want to provide your personal information and may want to consider asking the company directly why it requires such information before passing it across.

Carson McDowell has a dedicated Information Law team that would be more than happy to discuss any matters relating to data protection, including how to ensure compliance with the new General Data Protection Regulations which will come into force in May 2018.