Child School From Home USAA Community Data Privacy.jpgEach morning as I boot up my seven-year-old's ChromeBook, I watch as she opens up an internet browser, logs into her school system and then into Zoom and I marvel at the amount of passwords my first grader manages. When I think about how easy it would be for her to click a wayward link, or accidentally do a multitude of things on the internet, I cringe. In this online-centric time, setting up your family with the tools and knowledge to traverse the internet and applications safely is paramount. 


February is Data Privacy month but at USAA, every day is an opportunity to protect your privacy. I had a chance to speak with Judy Titera, USAA assistant vice president and Chief Privacy Officer and she said,


“The pandemic has changed the way we work and play. After years of trying to limit screen time, our children are behind screens every day for school, and we are zooming with our parents and grandparents who might have had limited technology experience prior to 2020. Now more than ever we need to remain vigilant and take steps to protect the privacy of ourselves and our family.” -Judy Titera


Here are some steps to get started in protecting your privacy:


Get Informed & Talk About Privacy

  • Talk to your kids about their online presence and the value of privacy.
  • Ask questions about use of your personal information. Read the fine print and understand what it means for you and your data rights.
  • Keep privacy in mind and make informed consumer decisions on purchases and use of new technologies, e.g., smart doorbells, speakers, thermostats and other internet of things (IoT) devices.
  • Understand that others might be sharing your information; talk to them about your privacy preferences
  • Engage with business leaders and elected officials on the importance of privacy and consumer rights.


Take Action to Stay Safe Off and Online

  • Cover cameras on computers, tablets, and TVs. Turn off Bluetooth & WiFi when not in use.
  • Use multi-factor authentication or a password manager.
  • Use secure web browsers, email services, and tracking blockers to limit exposure of personal information.
  • Consider what you share about yourself on social media, e.g., birthdates, family names and check-in locations.
  • Delete or deactivate accounts and profiles no longer in use, and shred or safely burn unneeded documents.


Manage Privacy on Devices & Apps

  • Consider a ‘burner’ mobile device for particularly sensitive/risky travel.
  • Use Incognito or Private Mode when internet browsing on your phone. (You can find this in your browser settings)
  • Download apps only from legitimate app stores. Uninstall/delete unused apps.
  • Regularly check and update your service & app settings
    • Turn off Location Services and settings for tracking lost/stolen phone.
    • Check App Permission details, deny questionable Permissions and those unrelated to App functionality
    • Limit Ad Tracing by disabling mobile ad ID
    • Check browser settings for location & browsing tracking. Deny all but essential cookies.

How have you been ensuring your personal data remains safe? Please share in the comments.


Stay vigilant!


Additional Resources:

 The Latest on Cyberthreats 

Ways to Help Prevent Top 5 COVID 19 Scams

How to Detect an Imposter Scam in Real Life


New Member

Please listen to Rob Braxman Tech on You Tube about how to protect your privacy.  He is one of the inventors of our EMR-electronic medical records, cyber security and keeps it non-political.  1. Delete every like, post, comment on your Facebook account, then delete FB.  2. Get a degoogled phone.  I got a degoogled Motorola and can still do 95% of what I used to do on iPhone.  I got an iPhone 11 in Nov last year and in Nov and Jan I was alerted someone on 2 separate occasions from 2 different cities in CHINA were attempting to use my appleID.  Whatever compromises you may have to make in order to protect yourself and your loved ones from AI contact tracing, it's worth it!!  God bless!

Briana Hartzell USAA

Thanks for sharing @Irishlovely ! So glad you have taken steps to protect your privacy. Looking forward to more comments from you here in Community!

Occasional Visitor is tracking me with the following trackers:


How can I protect my privacy from the site


Does anyone know how to get my money that USAA gave to Charles Schwab? They do not answer phone calls or emails. I just found out that USAA's partner was involved with blocking retail investors from buying stocks that were hurting the hedge fund elites. I don't want anything to do with either of these companies.

Regular Visitor

I do several things to try and stay safe online as much as possible. 


1) Every single day I check to see if there is a windows update.  If so I update it.  Then I check if there is new software for Itunes. After that, I check to see if there are any updates on the apps from the Microsoft store and update them.  It is VITAL to always have everything updated on your computers and phones. If not, this is one-way hackers can install malware, etc. 


2) I always turn on the VPN option before getting on the internet.  This keeps you safe while you browse.   


3) I have Mcafee Total Protection on ALL of my devices (3 computers and my cell phone). I enable the option to check the network that I am and make sure if it is safe and it will tell you if you are safe or not.  Another feature tells you that the internet page you are on is not secure.  If it is not, I immediately get out of it. Then I clear my browser history (open your search engine,  you were just using and hit Ctrl+H,  a black page will load - you will see an option clear browser history - I always clear ALL history but you don't have to, just make sure you do your history for today).  After I have done that I go straight to my Mcafee and clean the trackers and then shred all temporary internet files. I then restart my computer.


3) Once I am done with my computer I always clear my browser history and then use McFee and clear all trackers and then shred them.  This requires a restart but it is worth it.  Once it has booted back up I shut my computer off. 


4) I use Alexa every day and amazon stores what you say to better understand how you use it.  There is an option within the Alexa app under privacy about saving what you say to Alexa - you have to enable the option to delete what you say.  Once you do that, you can tell Alexa to delete everything I have said today.  Just say "Alexa, delete everything I said today". 


5) Each day I clear my browser history on my cell phone.  


I hope that helps!!! 






Thank you Irishlovely for the information on Rob Braxman Tech on YouTube, has helped me alot.


Briana Hartzell USAA

Thanks for sharing @ashers and @financia14 !