Today is Data Privacy Day, and to commemorate we wanted to spread awareness about the dangers of not taking measures to protect your data, as well as share the best and easiest ways to start protecting your data today.

What is Data Privacy Day?

Data Privacy Day is an annual international event with the goal of creating awareness amongst businesses and users about the significance of preserving their personal information’s privacy online, particularly in the context of social networking.

Data Privacy Day promotes events and activities that encourage the development of technology tools that increase individual control over personally identifiable information, compliance with privacy laws and regulations, and create dialogue among stakeholders interested in advancing data protection and privacy.

What is data privacy, and why is it important?

Data privacy refers to a person’s ability to control when, how, and to what extent personal information about them is shared with others. Personal data includes, but is not limited to:

  • full name
  • address
  • phone number
  • online & offline activity

Many people believe that data privacy is today’s most critical consumer protection concern, with increased technical sophistication and the sorts of data obtained as a result being one of the key causes contributing to this. As a result, data protection laws have been created to protect individuals when their data is being misused.

If personal data is not kept private or people don’t have control over how their data is used, it can be exploited in a variety of ways:

  • Personal data can be used by criminals to defraud or harass people.
  • Entities may sell personal data to advertisers or other third parties without user authorisation, resulting in unwanted marketing or advertising.
  • When a person’s activities are tracked and watched, it may restrict their freedom of expression, particularly under repressive regimes.

These outcomes can harm both individuals and cause irreparable damage to a company’s reputation, as well as result in legal ramifications such as fines.

Many people and governments feel that, in addition to the real-world repercussions of privacy infractions, privacy has intrinsic value; that, like the right to free expression, privacy is a human right essential to a free society.

Fluccs’ recommendations to protect your data

Whilst it may seem like the risks to being online are high, there many easy and effective ways you can combat these risks! Below are some things you can do right now to ensure your online data is protected.

Avoid using public Wi-Fi, especially when accessing sensitive information

Whilst public Wi-Fi is totally fine for general internet browsing, you should never use it to access internet banking

Use a VPN

‘VPN’ stands for ‘Virtual Private Network’ and provides an extra layer of security by routing all your online activity through an encrypted connection, which prevents others from seeing what you’re doing and where you’re doing it from.

There are many different VPN options to select from, both paid and free. Here are a couple that our staff use:
OpenVPN (free)
Private Internet Access (paid)

Make sure to not reuse passwords

Though it’s super tempting, reusing passwords is a sure-fire way to lower security to your online accounts. Even if the password you reuse is something like 6B@CYHfw0R, if someone manages to brute-force and get this password they will now have access to all accounts that use it.

We suggest using a password generator to create unique passwords, as well as a secure place to store all your passwords so you don’t need to remember them all. For more information, you can read our Password 101 article here!

Set your device to lock after a period of inactivity

Sometimes we set our phone down somewhere and walk away from it without even giving a second thought to if we have locked our device. Turning on these features on your phone will both give you peace of mind and prevent people from getting a one-way ticket to all of your personal information in the palm of their hands.

Check & setup app privacy settings

Everyone has a smartphone these days, and most of us use it as our primary device. Because of this, it is super important to make sure our privacy settings are set correctly so apps don’t have access to things they don’t need.

Automate software updates on your devices

For most devices, automatic updates should be enabled right out of the box, but it doesn’t hurt to check and make sure that this is the case. Having the latest software update for your device is critical for security as developers are always sending patches for any potential security breaches, and not having those patch updates could be detrimental for you and your personal data.

Enable biometric security on devices that have facial or fingerprint recognition

Lots of devices have biometric security features, and many smartphone apps have the option to utilise these features in order to access sensitive information. Enabling an app’s access to your biometric features adds an extra layer of security and makes it just that much more difficult for someone to gain access to your device.

We hope you learned a few things reading this article. Do you have any other tips for keeping your data safe? Visit our Facebook page and share them with the community!