Celebrate Data Privacy Day with SunBirch Consulting

Data Privacy Day

Keeping our data and privacy safe in a world with evolving technology has been a priority for many individuals and business owners.

What is Data Privacy Day?

Every year on the 28th of January, we celebrate Data Privacy Day. It encourages us as a community to own our privacy and learn about best practices to stay safe online, just like we keep our important documents and belongings hidden in a safe, our front door locked with a key, and a security system in place for our homes. The same rules apply to the critical information we store online. In a world that has fast become more digitized, it’s crucial now more than ever to keep all the information we store online secured. 

Companies worldwide store information for millions of customers, so Data Privacy is a huge concern for many businesses; when’s the last time you heard on the news about a data breach for a company? Probably not so long ago. It happens quite often, and businesses try hard to avoid that. The threat isn’t just businesses but for us as individuals as well, and the more we know about this topic, the greater chance we have from exposing ourselves to a possible threat. Could you imagine all the damage that could occur if your data got into the wrong hands?

What is Data Privacy

Data privacy is any piece of information you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing with a stranger. Sharing your name is one thing, but giving out your social security number, bank account information, or address is a whole new ball game. If you’re business data, privacy would include the information of your customers and employees and the information about your company that helps it operate, including development data, financial information, proprietary research, and so much more.

Data Privacy Day History

Data Privacy Day is led by The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). It commemorates the signing of convention 108 in 1981.  According to the College of Optometry, this was the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. This particular day that reminds us about the best strategies to keeping our data safe started back in January of 2008. 

Eight tips to keeping your data safe 

We’ve put together a robust list of the top 8 strategies to help you keep your passwords, identity, and financial information safe online.

Tip 1: Stay on the lookout for impersonators

When you receive an email from a business, and they ask for your personal information. Do not give it to them without thoroughly researching and making sure they are legit. A great way to do this is by researching the company’s name and calling them directly to see if they sent your email and need more information from you. Also, be sure NEVER to click a link in an email if you’re not sure it’s safe. 

Tip 2: Keep your Social Security Number Secure

According to consumer.ftg.net, If a company asks for your social security number, ask them the following questions.

  1. Why they need it
  2. How will it be used
  3. How will they protect it
  4. What will happen if you decide not to share the information
Tip 3: Encrypt your data

Encrypting may sound like something only for tech-savvy individuals, but this is further from the truth. Modern tools have made it extremely simple to encrypt information. “Encryption used to be the sole province of geeks and mathematicians, but a lot has changed in recent years. In particular, various publicly available tools have taken the rocket science out of encrypting (and decrypting) email and files. GPG for Mail, for example, is an open-source plug-in for the Apple Mail program that makes it easy to encrypt, decrypt, sign and verify emails using the OpenPGP standard. And for protecting files, newer versions of Apple’s OS X operating system come with FileVault, a program that encrypts the hard drive. Those running Microsoft Windows have a similar program. This software will scramble your data, but won’t protect you from government authorities demanding your encryption key under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000), which is why some aficionados recommend TrueCrypt, a program with some very interesting facilities, which might have been useful to David Miranda,” says John Naughton in an article for the Guardian.

Tip 4: Do not overshare valuable information on social media

Identity thefts are always on the lookout. Be sure to never post too much about yourself and information. If they get their hands on essential pieces of information, they could use it against you to answer challenging questions about your life and gain access to your money and personal information. A great tip to keep this from happening is to keep your account private, and only follow people you know, and, of course, not posting your full name, address, or social security number on your social media pages.

Tip 5:  Back up your data

Backing up your data if your laptop is stolen, lost, or compromised is an excellent way not to lose all your important information. Backing up your data creates a duplicate for you. This is important, especially if you’re a business owner.

Tip 6: Read Privacy Policies

Privacy policies can seem tedious, long, and boring. Still, they tell you exactly how the site maintains its security and how they will store your information, and whether they give your information to third parties. If you read something you’re not sure of, leave the site and find another place to service you.

Tip 7: Use a Firewall

Firewalls help keep the dangerous programs, viruses, and spyware away BEFORE they infiltrate your system. Many companies offer Firewall systems; do your due diligence and find the most trustworthy one. 

Tip 8:  Protect your Passwords

Never share your passwords with anyone and be sure to make the password healthy, including numbers and capitalized letters; a great tip is to use a passphrase instead of a password and use only the first letter for each word. Even swapping out letters for numbers. For example “ I love skydiving to work sometimes “ could be IL$D2WS!

Conclusion

There’s power in knowledge. Use these tips to help keep you safe! Which one of these tips will you try? Let us know!