Protecting Your Identity

Protecting your online privacy is essential in avoiding identity theft and fraud. Criminals constantly look for clues online to get access to your accounts and information. These clues may be your date of birth, your mother’s maiden name, your pets names, etc. which can all be used to impersonate you and possibly retrieve your passwords. Information is like money, value it and protect it.

Top Tips

  • Keep work and social life separate. Only use your UCD email address and accounts for work related purposes. Use a personal email address for social and domesitic websites and apps. 
  • Use unique, long and complex passwords or passphrases. UCD passwords must be unique. The length and complexity of your passwords can provide an extra level of protection for your personal information. 
  • Take care what you share. Periodically check the privacy settings for your social networking apps to ensure that they are set to share only what you want, with whom you intend. Be very careful about putting personal information online. What goes on the Internet usually stays on the Internet.
  • Go stealth when browsing. Your browser can store quite a bit of information about your online activities, including cookies, cached pages, and history. To ensure the privacy of personal information online, limit access by going "incognito" and using the browser's private mode.
  • Using Wi-Fi? If only public Wi-Fi is available, restrict your activity to simple searches (no banking!) or use a VPN (virtual private network). The latter provides an encrypted tunnel between you and the sites you visit.
  • Should you trust that app? Only use apps from reputable sources. Check out reviews from users or other trusted sources before downloading anything that is unfamiliar.
  • Know your rights. Become aware of your data protection rights and the responsibilities of those who hold and process your personal details. You can find more information here.

Open All
Personal information is like money. Value it. Protect it.

Think before you act: Be wary of communication that implore you to act immediately, offers something that sounds too good to be true or ask for personal information.


Guard your date of birth and telephone number: These are key pieces of information used for verification, and you should not share them publicly. If an online service or site asks you to share this critical information, consider whether it is important enough to warrant it.


Get two steps ahead: Switch on two-step verification or multi-factor authentication wherever offered to prevent unauthorised access.

Secure your devices:  Use strong passwords or passcodes or touch ID features to lock your devices. Securing your device can help protect your information if your device is lost or stolen and keep prying eyes out.


Think before you app: Information about you, such as the games you like to play, your contacts list, where you shop and your location, has value ? just like money. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it’s collected through apps.


Get savvy about WiFi hotspots: Public wireless networks and hotspots are not secure – this means the possibility exists that anyone can see what you are doing on your laptop or smartphone while you are connected to it. Think about what you are doing and if you would want another person to see it. If you use public WiFi , think about using a virtual private network (VPN) that provides a more secure WiFi connection.


Now you see me, now you don’t: Some stores and other locations look for devices with WiFi or Bluetooth turned on to track your movements while you are within range. Disable WiFi and Bluetooth when not in use. 


Share with care

What you post can last a lifetime: Before posting online, think about how it might be perceived now and in the future and who might see it. Share the best of yourself online.


Own your online presence: Set the privacy and security settings on web services and devices to your comfort levels of information sharing. It’s ok to limit how and with whom you share information. Click here for more information.


Be aware of what’s being shared: Be aware that when you share a post, picture or video online, you may also be revealing information about others. Be thoughtful when and how you share information about others.


Post only about others as you have them post about you. The golden rule applies online as well.