ideas, innovations and apps for social work in the age of smartphones and social media 

Protecting Your Privacy – Information And Tools Offered By Microsoft

Your Privacy is Our Priority“ is one of Microsoft’s slogans. To support consumers in the protection of their online information Microsoft provides a wide range of resources – of course this also supports Microsoft’s products like Internet Explorer 10. Among the information and tools you can find at Microsoft’s Safety & Security Center there are two that I find very interesting. One is a quiz asking you to discover your privacy type. The other is a section with information about how to use public computers and wireless devices more safely. Let’s have a look at the quiz first.

Your Privacy Type is an 11-part questionnaire which asks questions about where you access the Internet, which sites you navigate to once you’re signed on, and how much information you share over social networks. Once every question is complete, Microsoft assigns you a title like Carefree Surfer, Digital Veteran, Privacy Procrastinator or,…, the Moderate. (Michael Harper for

You can give it a try clicking on the following picture.


The quiz is not an in-deep analysis of your online behaviour and the results mostly refer to Microsoft products, but the quiz – as it is appealing – may be a good start for discussions with clients about their privacy settings. Check it out and share your thoughts in the comments.

CC BY-SA 2.0 by IntelFreePress

CC BY-SA 2.0 by IntelFreePress

The second resource – Use public computers and wireless devices more safely – offers information on the following topics

  • Secure your smartphone
  • Use location services more safely
  • Mobile phone safety for kids
  • Five safety tips for using a public computer
  • Four safety tips for using Wi-Fi
  • Help secure your wireless network
  • Windows Phone: Location and my privacy
  • Windows Phone: Location awareness and my phone
  • Internet Explorer Mobile: Change privacy and other browser settings
  • How do I know if a wireless network is secure?

To give an example of the information offered here is a short part of the article on  Mobile phone safety for kids:

Teach kids safe and responsible phone use
Help kids understand the following:

  • Share their phone number only with family and close friends. Do not put it on social network pages, use it to enter contests, or give it to just anyone who asks for it.
  • Lock the phone with a PIN that your child keeps secret (even from best friends) to prevent others from snooping or misusing it.
  • Don’t say, text, or post anything that would hurt or embarrass someone.
  • Don’t make, send, or accept provocative texts, photos, or videos.
  • Avoid clicking links in ads, contests, text messages (even from friends) offering free prizes and the like. …

The information may not be as detailed as the one you can find in the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Facts Sheets, but it is easier to read and therefor may be beneficial for people how don’t want or have to go deep into the topic.

Talking about smartphones and kids. Another good idea to hand a smartphone to children is to sign a contract.





Microsoft provides resources to help you protect your online information



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Lutz Siemer

Lutz Siemer

Education, Research & Development in Social Work & IT After working as an alternative practitioner and psychotherapist in private practice for nearly ten years I stepped over to higher education in 2005. At Saxion University of Applied Sciences I lecture and do research and development in the area of Social Work, Psychology and IT. Currently I'm focussing on merging mobile technology and social work.

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