Data Privacy Day is observed each year on January 28th in hopes to create awareness of the importance of protecting individual data along with organizations’ and businesses’ information. The National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA) has led Data Privacy Day for many years, as well as, educates individuals on an annual basis about online presence and encourages organizations to continuously observe privacy best practices. “In 2021, NCSA is encouraging individuals to “Own Your Privacy” by learning more about how to protect your valuable data online, and encouraging businesses to “Respect Privacy”, which advocates for holding organizations responsible for keeping individuals’ personal information safe from unauthorized access and ensuring fair, relevant and legitimate data collection and processing” (staysafeonline.org). As many individuals lack control of their data once shared online, it is important to take precautionary steps and learn how your data is being saved, distributed, and handled once on the web. “Own Your Privacy” Tips for Individuals:
- Monitor Mobile and Tablet Applications – Have you ever downloaded an app and noticed a message requesting to access your location? Many mobile and tablet applications suggest sharing your geographic location, access to photos and even access to your contacts to aid in customizing your user experience. Be sure to enable and disable these options within the application permissions, which can limit the amount of information you share.
- Protect Employees Accounts – Encourage individuals to use secure, lengthy, and unique passwords for each business account within the business network. For example, it is important each employee uses a different password for their company email versus their company’s financial services account. It is just as important to set each employee up with multifactor authorization, such as Microsoft Authenticator, to keep data both safe and secure.
- Be Transparent – It is important to remain transparent when communicating how collected data is utilized. As a business it is essential to be honest about how consumer’s personal data is used within an organization. Create a clear communication message for public consumption stating what precautionary steps are taken to protect privacy.