Data Privacy Day, an international initiative since 2008, has been deemed so critical to public safety that it has been expanded to Data Privacy Week in 2022.
“Everything you do online generates data,” says the National Cybersecurity Alliance.
Consider just one small example:
Your cell phone has apps that all seem to want to turn on location tracking. These include photo and retail apps, not just mapping and direction tools. They want to be able to send you offers and pop up notifications, which can, of course, be helpful.
But think about that data even with your personal information removed. As a collection of geographic locations, it can still say quite a bit about you.
- The location where you spend the most time is probably where you live.
- The spot that pops up almost every morning around 7:30 AM could be your favorite coffee shop.
- Or maybe it’s your child’s school.
- The second-most length of time location could be your office.
Why does that information matter if it doesn’t have your name?
Public property records can provide your name. And a simple Google search with your name and city can pull up the company you work for, your Facebook or LinkedIn account, and other information.
Still think data that has been ‘anonymized’ truly protects your privacy?
It’s designed to, yes. But criminals always find ways around the system.
So the real protection lies in you controlling your data: what gets collected and how it can be used.
As a consumer, when was the last time you read the terms and conditions before agreeing?
As a business owner, how clear are your employees and customers on what data you collect and why, and where and for how long you store it?
Data Privacy Week is the perfect time to get some tips and information to better protect yourself and your family, as well as helping your business handle data more securely.
Data Privacy Week is January 24-28, 2022.
Infinity, Inc. is proud to be your local Champion again this year, ready to help you take back control of your valuable online data. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube for tips and information, and dive into Data Privacy Week right now with the following actions.
As an Individual:
The easiest thing you can do right now to increase your data privacy is to delete any unused apps on your phone or tablet. Just because you’re not actively using it doesn’t mean it’s not tracking activity and information in the background. So if you’re not using it, lose it.
When you have more time—and you can certainly break this into pieces like during a few spare minutes waiting for someone or while watching Netflix—measure and clean up your digital footprint. This means closing down old accounts and going through the privacy settings on each of your apps. It can seem like a large task at first, but if you keep chipping away at it, you’ll soon reach the point where you’ve gone through everything once and it can be just an annual check-up going forward.
This is also a good time to start using a password management tool if you’re not yet. You can add your active logins for the accounts you decide to keep, which will make them more secure, and then you’ll be able to simply go through that tool for your future check-ups.
And if you want to see if your email address has appeared in any breaches, you can check haveIbeenpwned.com. This takes just a second and can help show you old accounts you may have forgotten about if it turns up any results.
For more, follow our social channels above.
As a Business Owner:
Conduct an assessment of the data you collect. You can do this in-house with your staff, but you may want your IT services partner to help. Your staff should know which programs and forms collect data from your customers, and your IT team should be able to tell you how long the data is kept or if it gets archived, where it is stored, and possibly which other vendors or tools may have access to it.
Once you know what data you collect, you can consider whether or not you need it all. In this case, less can very much be more. Less data can often mean lower liability and lower costs.
Make sure you review the privacy laws and regulations of all the places your customers live, not just the location where you operate your business.
Then you can communicate all the relevant parts of your process to your customers so they can use informed consent when they work with you. Plus, your transparency can increase consumer trust, which can increase profits. Proper data handling is good for business.
Another way for businesses to participate in Data Privacy Week is to educate your employees. Talk to them about handling data in the workplace (why and how your company does it), as well as about protecting their own data privacy. Use this tipsheet for 5 Ways to Help Employees Understand Data Privacy.
You can also attend the Data Privacy Balancing Act event on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, starting at noon. Registration is required, and you can get more details and sign up here.
Follow our social channels for more during Data Privacy Week.
About Data Privacy Week
Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of Data Protection Day in Europe. Data Protection Day commemorates the Jan. 28, 1981 signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection.
There are 3 main goals for the initiative:
- Spread awareness about online privacy.
- Educate citizens on how to manage their personal information and keep it secure.
- Encourage businesses to respect data and be more transparent about how they collect and use customer data.
The National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) leads this North American initiative each year. The NCA is a non-profit organization on a mission to create a more secure, interconnected world. They advocate for the safe use of all technology and educate everyone on how best to protect ourselves, our families, and our organizations from cybercrime.