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Online Privacy and Security Toolkit: Online Privacy and Security Toolkit

Tools, tips, and tricks to take control of your online presence and stay safer on the web.

Choose Privacy!

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Privacy Rights of Students in the U.S.

About This Guide

This guide was created in May 2018 by Nicole Gustavsen (, a Campus Library reference & instruction librarian. It is maintained jointly by Nicole and by Myra Waddell (, the Campus Library computer science & business librarian. Please email Nicole or Myra with questions, comments or suggestions for the guide.

Protect Yourself Online

It seems every day that new information comes to light regarding data breaches, online privacy violations, and massive hacks. As our lives are lived more and more fully online, and as technology advances at a dizzying pace, it is imperative that we understand how to protect ourselves, our data, and our reputations online.

This guide will provide sound information and concrete steps you can take to protect and control your online identity:

  • Basics of staying safe online, including some simple tips everyone should follow, guides to secure different types and brands of devices, and what to do if you find you've been hacked or your identity has been stolen
  • Learn about how you're being tracked online, what data is being collected about you, and how you can limit this tracking and collection
  • All about passwords! Learn how to choose secure passwords, use a password protection service, and test the strength of your passwords
  • Social Media: how to lock your accounts down, take control of the data you provide each network, and give your online presence a professional makeover.
  • Advanced security tools such as encryption services, Virtual Private Networks, Tor browsers, and other apps and services
  • You have legal rights related to online privacy and security in the United States! Learn about them here
  • NEW: Is your phone taking over your life? Learn about Attention Hacking here, and what to do to decrease the amount of unproductive time you spend on your device or online.


Campus Privacy Policies

Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association. The courts have established a First Amendment right to receive information in a publicly funded library system like UW's. In a library, the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one's interests put them at risk for harm.