WHAT TO DO

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - TECH -

BE­WARE OF PAS­SIVE DIS­CLO­SURE

We’re con­stantly di­vulging our own data, click­ing “yes” to agree­ments that give up our phone num­bers, search his­tory, ge­olo­ca­tion in­for­ma­tion, IP ad­dress, com­puter op­er­at­ing sys­tem and ads clicked on. Don’t let con­ve­nience over­shadow se­cu­rity. Most of the time, we don’t even know what we’re re­veal­ing.

BE STINGIER ABOUT AC­TIVE DIS­CLO­SURE

Mail-in re­bates, prod­uct regis­tra­tions, coupons, credit re­quests and dis­count cards of­ten ask for a phone num­ber. Van­der­burg warned that “this in­for­ma­tion is stored in data­bases and sold,” and too of­ten, it’s hacked.

DON’T PLAY AROUND

What Poké­mon char­ac­ter are you? What would your Star Wars name be? What celebrity do you most re­sem­ble? You’re likely to be lured into di­vulging in­for­ma­tion that can come back to haunt you, Van­der­burg said.

ASK THIS HIGHSTAKES QUES­TION

Every time you’re asked to give up your cell­phone num­ber, ask this: “What would I do if the re­quest were for my So­cial Se­cu­rity num­ber?” If you wouldn’t give that num­ber out freely, don’t dis­close your phone num­ber.

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