How private is your profile?

[news release] With social networking increasingly becoming a part of everyday lives, the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) are reminding people to take care with what they share online and to familiarise themselves with their social networking sites’ privacy policies and settings.This year during APPA’s annual Privacy Awareness Week (1 to 7 May 2011), privacy commissioners and regulators from across the Asia Pacific region have released a cartoon promoting an e-survey to find out more about privacy and social networking.The short, humorous cartoon highlights some of the privacy issues users should think about when using social networking. It shows the consequences of inadequate security settings and how careless postings can easily compromise someone’s reputation.”Social networking has quickly become part of our daily lives but many people seem to be unaware of the privacy risks. For example, default settings usually allow public access to information that is posted, so people can risk their privacy without realising it,” said Victorian Privacy Commissioner, Helen Versey.”We’re not saying ‘don’t use it’. We just want Victorians to know that there are steps they can take to restrict who sees their information so they can use social media safely.”The APPA members have also put together an e-survey to learn more about users’ habits when it comes to privacy and social networking. The survey will be open throughout May, and the results will be released later in the year.”We want to hear from people who use social networking sites about how much they know and understand about privacy online and whether they read privacy policies,” Ms Versey said.”During Privacy Awareness Week, we’re reminding people to take the time to review their privacy settings on the social networking sites they use. Make sure that you have the appropriate level of protection in place so that the choice about who sees your personal information is yours.”APPA members have also put together some tips for social networking users to make sure their experience is as private as they want it to be. The tips, cartoon and e-survey are all available from

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