Jeremy Sharp - Tech Director

If you are keeping up with the news, then you know that the federal government is working to delete Tik Tok from all government-owned devices. Whether you agree with this or not, it is worth asking why such a move was deemed necessary. The controversy centers around what data Tik Tok is collecting and sharing with the Chinese government.  

As I have discussed in this space, it is important to know what data our online activity generates and who has access to that data. Much to my dismay, I know that most of the teens in my life spend very little time thinking about these questions. I encourage you to talk to the kids in your life about what data they share and work to ensure they know who has it and what they do with it. One easy action we can all take is to quit accepting cookies from websites. Cookies are small files that keep track of your browser and tie you to the things you do online. I am sure you have been annoyed just like me by all the times websites ask you to accept cookies. After some research, I have learned that you don’t have to accept those cookies to view the content. Additionally, I recommend that you clear the cookies on your browser on a regular basis. This will wipe the slate clean so to speak so that companies will no longer have a significant chunk of your browsing data. 

I say this not to be alarmist, but so that you can take control of your data and make informed decisions about who should have access to it. The more we work to ensure our data is only in the hands of those we choose, the more confident we will be that our private information is kept secure.