CSOLVE August Newsletter: Terms of Service

2023-08-30 RSS Feed

Terms of service, privacy agreements, and other disclaimers often inundate us as we browse the web, sign up for new social media accounts, or download a new app to our phone. With how long and complex these terms of use can be, it is no wonder why many users scroll to the Agree button without reading the details. But what exactly are you signing up for? It’s important to find key details to keep yourself and your organization’s information safe!
In previous newsletters we’ve discussed the security reasons why you should limit the amount of personal information you provide online. Often individuals will provide information for themselves such as birth dates, schools they attended, and streets they lived on. While these may seem like harmless details, many of these can be used to gain unauthorized access to an account through methods like security confirmation questions or be used against you by a bad actor pretending to be someone they’re not.
The rise of AI technologies in the workplace presents a similar risk. Many terms of use for these tools that are publicly available include disclaimers that any information entered can be used by the tool to improve its learning model. This means that if you enter company information or trade secrets, it can inadvertently be leaked to the public. This happened recently at Samsung, leading to the company banning the use of ChatGPT by its employees.
However, we understand how long and complicated these agreements can be. So how can you keep yourself safe? Remember to think about the information you’re sharing online and in automated tools. Consider how it may be used against you by bad actors, or if the information becoming public may negatively impact you or your organization. Try to skim the terms of service when signing up for accounts to identify any red flags. You can search the document quickly for key terms such as “third parties”, “arbitration”, “opt out” etc. Review sections typed in all caps closely as these will have critical information. Most important of all, remember to Stop, Look, and Think.
For many years, CSOLVE has been hiring co-op students to give students real world job experience as they prepare to enter the workforce. Their fresh perspectives and creative ideas benefit our team. Many of these students have even stayed with us after graduating as they begin their full-time careers. The end of the semester is a time for transition as our current students’ placements end and a new co-op joins us. A huge thank you to Richard and Jacob for all your contributions! Welcome to the team Anthony!
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