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Electronic devices are essential, but you should always be concerned about your privacy. Ken Amaro, First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Can you function without your cellphone or your computer? Electronic devices have become essential to our everyday lives, but cyber security experts say do not compromise your privacy.

"We assume our lives are private unless we choose to share," said Theresa Payton.

Payton is a cyber security expert. A Jacksonville native Payton was Chief Information officer for the white house during the Bush presidency and is a consultant on cyber security.

"You may be giving up your location every time you use a mobile device," said Payton.

She is also the author of two books on the subject; the latest entitled 'Privacy in the Age of Big Data.'

"The cell phone you're talking with and your device have a unique ID sort of a social security number and it is tracked back to you, " said Payton.

It is not just that, she gave an example of using a store app in the store. The minute you walk in your device is recognized and the business pushes data, in the former of a sale, to your phone almost instantly. While you're getting a deal, the front door to your data privacy is wide open.

"The data is being stored, collected, and repurposed," she said," so the question is after I get my special deal what are you doing with my data."

Payton just completed her second book on privacy and big data; she said there are simple things you can do to protect yourself.

First,check the settings on your device now

"Get very familiar with the privacy and security settings on your actual device," said Payton.

Secondly, get familiar with the settings for your internet browser.

"If you use Google chrome in incognito mode they've made a commitment they will not track you," said Payton, "if you use the search engine DuckDuckGo they've made a commitment they will not track you."

Payton said the threat to your cyber privacy will never go away and neither should your diligence.

"Big data is here to stay but there's a downside," said Payton," unless we are all aware and take our own personal steps nobody is looking out for your privacy, you have to look out for yourself."

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