Data Privacy Frequently Asked Questions
This page answers some basic questions about data security on the Internet, and explains how using AxcessD can help to provide data security and privacy for you. Thanks for your interest!
- How do I keep my data private on social media?
- How do I stop targeted advertising?
- How do I stop identity theft?
- How do I stop Facebook from using my data?
- How do I stop Phishing attacks?
- How do I protect my information from a data breach?
- How do I protect my email from hackers?
- How can I believe what I read on the Internet?
How do I keep my data private on social media?
Social media platforms like Facebook have varying privacy controls. For example see Facebook Privacy Controls You should use whatever privacy controls the social media platforms provide. However, with these tools alone you do not really have absolute control over your data. Your data is ultimately stored on the social media servers, and the social media platform itself has access to your data. Employees at the social media company have access to your data. Potentially thousands of employees are currently engaging in various forms of censorship on the platforms. While this may be done with good intentions, it nevertheless means that your data is not fully under your control. As we have seen in the past, the social media platform API, which is used by third party applications, may make your data available to various parties worldwide, who may use it for various purposes. To keep your data private on social media, AxcessD can help. Your data is protected on your device when it is posted to social media. Only when it reaches the device of one of your intended recipients is the data made visible again.
How do I stop targeted advertising?
Targeted advertising depends on using your data to infer things about you. Do you find it disturbing when you message your friend about a ski trip, and then an advertisement for new skis shows up on your browser? Do you want to stop targeted advertising from social media platforms using your data? One way is to not provide any data in the first place. While this will surely work, you may want to use the social media platform with your friends, family, and workmates. So the next best thing would be to control access to your data by limiting who can see your data. With AxcessD, you can do this. When you post data on a social media, email, or other web platform, your data is protected in such a way that only the people you want to see it can see it. Your data is posted on the social media platform in a protected format. It remains in protected format, and private until it reaches your intended recipient. With AxcessD your data cannot be used for targeting ads.
How do I stop identity theft?
Identity theft is a complicated subject and there is no single magic bullet to prevent it from happening to you. One important thing to do is lock your credit file at the credit reporting agencies. This can be done for free or a very low fee. Locking your credit file will prevent someone from establishing credit in your name. Information on identity theft prevention is available here: usa.gov/identity-theft. Our AxcessD service can now provide an additional tool in the fight against identity theft, by keeping your data private, and limiting access to your data to only those people you authorize to see it. Having your identity stolen can be very costly and time consuming to fix. Using a service like AxcessD, which is free for our Basic service, can be an additional help to prevent identity theft and a valuable tool for you.
How do I stop Facebook from using my data?
Facebook and other social media platforms use your data for various purposes. For example, determining what news items or other information to send to you based on the content of your postings. It now widely known that even elections have been manipulated in this way. The only real way to stop social media platforms from using your data in these ways is to not provide them with the data in the first place. But, then, how can you use the social media platform if you don’t enter your data and postings? This is where AxcessD steps in. Your postings will be ‘invisible’ to anyone or any machine except for your intended recipient.
How do I stop Phishing attacks?
Phishing attacks often work by impersonating someone you know, or a well known company, or a bank you do business with and the like. One of the most important things you can do is to try to insure that any email or web link you open is valid. Don’t click on a something that looks suspicious. AxcessD provides additional security against Phishing attacks in a couple of ways. First, since data you post on the internet using AxcessD is private, an attacker will be unlikely to be able to use your data to impersonate you. If your friends and associates are also using AxcessD, it will be harder to impersonate them as well. Second, when you receive an email or are looking at a posting made by a friend or acquaintance, if they have used AxcessD to post the data, and if the data is still valid when you receive it, your AxcessD extension will display a green check mark to indicate the data is authentic and has not been modified. AxcessD thus helps you to know that data you are seeing is valid and is not corrupted.
How do I protect my information from a data breach?
A data breach happens when a hacker or cyber criminal compromises an organizations data servers, allowing private data held by that organization to be accessed. The cyber criminals can try to use this data in various ways to commit theft, financial fraud and extortion. If some of this data is yours, you can be harmed. With online purchases, we are all now basically at the mercy of the organizations who we purchase from; since we are releasing our credit information to them. In most cases, you will not have a problem and the organizations that you purchase from are taking care to maintain your data securely. If you spot a problem, the credit card company and banks will normally resolve the issue quickly and you will not be charged. However, in your everyday use of Internet services, where you are posting seemingly innocuous information and messaging with your friends, your postings and messages may not be as secure as your credit card number during an online purchase. And this information can also be used in nefarious ways to harm you. You can try to be careful to not post anything personal on a web application, but that may prevent you from using it in the way you want. Most web sites now use TLS to secure your information as it is being transmitted. However, once your data hits the application server, it becomes visible again. This is where AxcessD can come in handy. With AxcessD, your postings and messages are kept private even when stored on the web application data base. If a data breach does occur, the cyber criminal will only have your protected information, which will be effectively invisible.
How do I protect my email from hackers?
We all use email to stay connected. When you send an email from your device, the message traverses many systems in the internet before it reaches your intended recipient. This includes the last mile communication systems ( i.e. wifi, cable modems, fios, etc. ), the routers and switches at the local termination system, the core routers in the internet, the edge devices in the cloud, the email servers and their databases, and all of this again on the way down to the recipient device. Your message may be visible at any point during this long communication path. Yes, it all happens in seconds. But at any point in the system, your message could in theory be intercepted, stored for later retrieval, or corrupted. To be safe, you could adhere to the idea that you should not send an email if you would be embarrassed if it were published in the newspaper. But that may really limit your use of email. Also you may not anticipate how that innocent email could be misinterpreted or used against you in the future. AxcessD can help protect your email and your privacy. When you send an email using AxcessD, for example on Gmail, the email message is protected on your device prior to it being sent into the internet. Your email message is kept private until it eventually reaches the device of the recipient. If it is intercepted along the way, not a problem! It will be effectively invisible to any hacker. Additionally if it were to be corrupted along the way, the AxcessD authentication at the recipient would fail, so the recipient will know the message is invalid.
How can I believe what I read on the Internet?
A big problem on the internet today is the proliferation of misinformation and propaganda. Various purveyors of information on the internet are now trying to censor information and/or ‘fact-check’ it. While AxcessD cannot fact check or sensor information, what it can do is Authenticate it. This means that when you read something on the Internet that has been posted using AxcessD, you can know that at least it was posted by the person identified, using their AxcessD account, and that the information is exactly as it was written when originally posted. This way at least you will know the information has not been altered, taken out of context, or posted by someone other than the AxcessD account holder.