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Cornell University

Protect My Privacy

Steps to protect your privacy

This article applies to: Security & Policy

Just as the Internet makes it easy for you to find all sorts of information, you risk others finding out things about you that you don’t intend to be public.

As an experiment, search for your name in a search engine. You might be surprised at what appears. If you have a common name, try a search with the word Cornell, or the name of your hometown.

There is always a chance that information you send over the Internet, or store online, could fall into untrustworthy hands. Take steps to protect your online privacy.

Simple tips to help ensure privacy

  • Limit who has access to your information. Online information can make it easier for someone to steal your identity, or set you up for some sort of scam. For example, if you post your bank name on social media, someone could easily email you a very convincing phish (fraudulent email) claiming that you need to change your password--only to trick you into giving your information away, so that they can sign in and steal your money.
  • Opt out of special offers from select third-party companies. This means they are going to sell marketing information about you to other companies. Often, you will need to uncheck a box to opt out.
  • Don’t participate in consumer market research, including surveys, online communities, and focus groups. Also, never install market research software, which is often spyware. See Opt out of market research.
  • Read end-user license agreements (EULA). These are statements that you agree to before installing software. Generally, references to market research in a EULA are are a red flag. See Identify risky end-user license agreements.


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At Cornell we value your privacy. To view
our university's privacy practices, including
information use and third parties, visit University Privacy.