Data Privacy Day is an annual event with the aim of making more of us safe when using technology and is a useful reminder of best practice when it comes to keeping your data secure.
There are two main elements to your data privacy – your responsibility to keep you own data safe, and the responsibility of third parties with whom you share your data. GDPR came in last year as a resource to ensure that companies who you share your data with are responsible for keeping that data secure. Sadly, whilst prosecutions are beginning to be seen for data leaks, it doesn’t appear to have halted these breaches and we are still getting regularly news stories about our personal information being spilt across the web for any who have a bit of nous to go and find and to use against us.
And so it is the first aspect, keeping our own data safe, that we are concentrating on, being as it is the area that you have control over.
Are you Privacy Aware?
Six tips to help you be more privacy aware on Data Privacy Day
Passwords: We recently shared a report that uncovered a store of 770m email addresses and passwords that had been posted on to a hacking forum. These were from a variety of historical hacks from different sources but go to prove if you have the same login details for multiple sites you only need to have one breach for your data to be compromised.
Tidy Up: The internet is awash with talk about tidying up since the success of Marie Kondo’s TV series. We’re not getting into that debate, but we will advocate cleaning up your tech. If your computers, laptops, apps and all internet connected devices are not using the latest software then they are leaving you more vulnerable. Running outdated operating systems, or having outdated apps installed leaves computers and their users at significant risk.
Data = £s: We are in no way insinuating that you use gambling sites, but a recent security breach of a company who run a variety of such portals demonstrates clearly why your data is as valuable your money. Over one million account details were leaked online and these included people’s real names, home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, birth dates, site usernames, account balances, IP addresses, browser and OS details, and last login information. This is more than enough for someone with unscrupulous morals to steal your online identity so be very careful with what you share and where.
Link Bait: It remains the easiest way for hackers to get you – a dodgy link in an email, on a social media post or an online advert. These are becoming harder to spot, so if you have been caught out please don’t feel you’re a fool. Google has released a new online quiz you can take to test out your phishing detection skills – and it’s difficult! If in doubt, don’t click it. One way you can check is to hover your mouse over the link (DON’T ACTUALLY CLICK IT) and it will show up the website address. Chances are, if you’re suspicious, it won’t match up with who it claims to be from. (5 Ways To Identify Malicious Emails)
Social Sharing: It can be easy to forget that the information we are sharing online is seen by your friends, your family - and those without your interests at heart. Yay you're off on holiday! But by sharing this on your social media updates you are also letting everybody know that your house is empty. Always, always think before you post. What may seem funny or irrelevant now could come back to hit you hard in the future.
Whilst we hope that the majority of companies who you have granted access to your data will take the security of that information seriously, and anything they do store is kept as securely as possible, our data is our own responsibility. Data Privacy Day provides us all with the prompt to double check that we are doing all that we can as individuals and as businesses to keep our own data safe.