Data Privacy Day, which happens on January 28th, brings an opportunity to consider your own digital safety. Created to raise awareness of data security, the day is used to promote best practice for online privacy.
What Should Consumers Do?
- Update Your Passwords
When creating passwords, you should not use the same one across multiple sites. By using only one password, or a variation of it, you put your accounts in danger– if someone gets hold of your login information for one site, others could also be vulnerable.
If remembering several passwords seems like a hard task, you could use a password manager to give you peace of mind. These programs automatically remember your login details, can generate secure passwords for you, and will even warn you if your accounts are ever compromised.
2. Use strong passwords
Not only should you always update your passwords, but also make sure they are not obvious or easily discovered – like birthdays and names. Make sure that passwords are strong and include special characters, a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, etc.
3.Check Your Profiles
Online services and apps hold a lot of information about you. With it, they can create a digital version of you, which is used to send you targeted adds and services.
While some of this information is necessary for the product or service to operate, you should check the permissions and profiles that you use online, and how this data is collected and used.
4. Hide Your Identity Online
Most websites and apps you use will collect information about you. All this data is often sold or given to companies that use it to target you for adds.
If this bothers you, you can consider using Incognito or private mode in your browser of choice, which blocks most websites from collecting your information. It is important to note though, that your internet provider and company will still be able to monitor your activity. Also, the moment you log into any service, they can access your activity again.
For those who want a more complete privacy solution, VPNs might be the best option. These create a fake address to your computer, hiding your connection.
5. Make sure your Antivirus program is always updated
Although Antivirus programs are not always able to remove all the malware from your devices, they are able detect most of it, creating an extra layer of security between your data and the internet.
6. Use a firewall
Firewall is basically an electronic barrier that protects your devices from unauthorized access.
7. Don’t open or interact with dangerous emails
Learn how to recognise (and avoid opening) phishing emails.
Don’t click on anything if you are in doubt. Most phishing emails come from fake accounts pretending to be companies and services that you trust, such as banks and the government. When in doubt, contact the official accounts to ensure you are not being a victim of cyber-crime.
8. Avoid public WiFi
Sensitive transactions, such as online banking, should never be done in a public WiFi, as this can be used by criminals to get your personal information.
9. Opt out of ad tracking
10. Keep all your apps and devices updated.
Generally, newer updates will provide you with a better protection and usability.
What Should Businesses Do?
Consumers have increasingly high expectations that their personal data be kept private and secure.
According to Accenture, 91 percent of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers tailored to their personal preferences. However, Deloitte finds that 70 percent of consumers will avoid purchasing from companies that they believe do not protect their personal information.
This means, that companies need to ensure that any data collected or given by its customers is stored safely in secure platforms.
The best way to keep your data protected is by using a data management system. Azure Communications offers an ISO 27001 (Information and Security Management System) certified solution that helps streamline business processes, ensures compliance to government regulations, and facilitates collaboration and disaster recovery strategies.