Skip to main content

Privacy for individuals

Today’s technology may connect us, but it also needs to protect us. And so do entities that hold and handle our data.

This Privacy Awareness Week, the OAIC is urging Australians to ‘power up’ their privacy.

With a few simple actions, you can make things safer for you, and people close to you. You can also contribute to a safer privacy landscape!


Clarity matters

If you are asked to provide your personal information or consent, think about privacy. What is being asked for, and how will it be used?

When it comes to your personal information, be informed. Organisations must be transparent about their handling of your personal information.

Default settings on apps or other services may discourage users from making privacy-protective choices. This ranges from filling out a simple form, to app permissions on your phone, or smart devices in your home. 

Power up your privacy and exercise choice and control by selecting the most privacy protective option – for example, by opting-out of non-essential data handling practices.

Investigate your privacy settings

Be informed! Before signing up for something new, consider privacy. Check before clicking, accepting, logging in, or filling in information. What are you saying yes to?

Some practical steps are to:

Do the housekeeping

Protect your data by looking at what information your devices and apps hold and can access, and remove permissions that overstep the mark. 

Provide informed consent

Read privacy information. If it’s not clear, ask the organisation. If an organisation is seeking your consent, you must be appropriately informed about what you’re consenting to. 

Make good choices

Put privacy first. Make your starting position ‘no’ – and only say ‘yes’ if there is a good reason to.


Expect sound privacy practices

Our personal data encapsulates who we are. The requirements for protecting that – protecting us – should be high. Expect accountability from organisations that hold this information. 

New tools and technologies provide new ways for our information to be collected and used. This can be to our benefit – but privacy must be a priority.

Any organisation using your personal information should abide by a range of key principles:

  • Building privacy considerations into what they do: ‘privacy by design’
  • Transparency as to what information they are holding and how they will use it
  • Only collecting or keeping what is needed, and keeping your information safe 
  • Responding appropriately if things go wrong

Expect accountability from organisations holding your information.

Require accountability when it comes to your privacy

If privacy practices, or answers to your privacy questions, are not satisfactory, don’t let it slide. Say no!

Some practical steps are to:

Expect sound privacy practices

Not good enough on privacy is just that – not good enough. Expect that baseline privacy requirements are met, at a minimum. Organisations pursuing best practice may well exceed them.  

Know your rights

Find out what is required of organisations holding or handling your data, and how to make a complaint.  Find out more at the links below.

Champion privacy

By speaking up for privacy, you can help make things safer for everyone. As new technologies evolve, this is particularly important.


Keeping safe and sound

There are a range of things you can do to power up the security of your personal information.

The first step is to treat your personal information like the asset it is.

Make sure it’s kept somewhere safe. Keep those security measures up to date. And be choosy about who you give your information to, and what you consent to.

Know your options, understand the technology you are using, and think before you act. Don’t give your privacy away – power it up!

The best thing you can do for your personal information security is to be mindful, and informed.

Power up security for your personal information

Don’t let reused, weak passwords stick around. Give your accounts a refresh with strong, varied passphrases. The 3 key tips for strong passphrases are:

  1. The longer the better – but least 14 characters
  2. Unpredictable – four or more random words
  3. Make them unique – don’t recycle!

Some practical steps are to:

Check and consider credentials

This means both looking out for scammers and considering the organisation’s reliability before you hand over your information. Be wary of free public wi-fi – and what you tell generative AI.

Flex your privacy muscles

Have strong and varied passphrases and enable multifactor authentication (MFA) if it is available. The same goes for security updates. Also, be socially savvy – watch what you share on socials, and check your privacy settings.

Do regular 'health checks' on accounts

Be vigilant. Do regular ‘health checks’ on any accounts with access to your finances. You can also check if your personal information has been in a data breach on the Have I Been Pwned website (see below). 

Test your knowledge

Test how ‘powered up' your privacy knowledge is with our quick quiz, and claim your reward.

Take the quiz

In the workplace

Protecting the privacy of people’s personal information is fundamental.

You can make sure your organisation is covering what it needs to, and find out more about what it can do to be a privacy leader, by visiting the business or government sections via the menu above. 

Your organisation can also sign up as a Privacy Awareness Week supporter.

Take part

Additional resources for individuals

Want to know more about your privacy rights, and keeping your personal information safe?

There is a range of information available from us (the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner) at the links below. We have also included links to a range of other very useful resources.

Privacy Resources