What is Data Privacy Week?
Data Privacy Week is January 22 – January 28. This annual reminder highlights the importance of educating you and other businesses, including those in Maryland and Pennsylvania, about online privacy and security. Many are unaware of how large corporations are collecting and using their digital activity and personal data.
In the beginning, Data Privacy Week was just one day that began back in 2008. In 2022, the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) extended Data Privacy Day into Data Privacy Week to showcase just how important your data is! Europe has something similar called Data Protection Day which observes the signing of Convention 108, the first international treaty relating to privacy and data protection.
Anytime you visit a website or use an app, your activity is tracked, collected, and stored to be possibly sold or shared without your knowledge. This can even include personal data like your driver’s license number, your birthday, or even your physical health through an activity tracker or smartwatch.
Why is Data Privacy Week Important?
While not all data collection is bad, your data is not only important just to you or the single app that collects it. It’s also valuable to organizations and groups that would pay an arm and a leg for it – many of whom may not have your best interests at heart. But you have the power to take control of your data!
Per the NCA, the goal of Data Privacy Week is to “spread awareness about online privacy.” Their goal is to help everyone understand that you have the power to manage your data by highlighting the significance of online safety and security. It also emphasizes the importance for large corporations to stop misusing your collected data and be accountable on what they do with it.
TREYSTA also believes your data is valuable and important, and we would like you to be aware of your online presence. Not only by being diligent with the apps or websites you visit, but also such things as how to identify a phishing message, the importance of using long detailed passwords with a password manager, utilizing a firewall, and ensuring multifactor authentication (MFA) has been turned on when available. At TREYSTA, we take your cybersecurity and data protection seriously.
Businesses in South Central PA, in places like Harrisburg, Gettysburg, or Mechanicsburg, should be aware of how their business and employee data is collected. Unfortunately, many large corporations monitor the data of their users to sell it for a profit. Personal data can be stored forever and used to make assumptions about your demographic, preferences, and even your offline habits. This data can be detrimental if it falls into the wrong hands, or if a data breach occurs. Make sure you and your business are secure and safe online.
6 Ways to Act Now on How Your Data is Shared
1. Be aware of how you share your data with social media platforms, gaming apps, and or even when opening a new online account – many ask for your photos, contacts, and current location – all which can be used to collect data on you. Ensure the service or app is worth the amount of personal data being collected.
2. Review your security! All apps and websites have a security setting that is worth checking out. Take a moment to review your apps or account settings. The NCA has a great resource available on how to take action on many apps and websites, located here: https://staysafeonline.org/resources/manage-your-privacy-settings/
3. Create long passwords, using unique passwords for each account, with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Phrases like “PassWord2023!” are no longer safe to use. Use a password manager, such as MyGlue, to safely store you or your business’s passwords.
4. Use multifactor authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of protection to your accounts by requiring your identity to be verified twice.
5. Be alert and know how to identify phishing attempts. Be aware of strange looking emails, texts, or direct messages that require immediate attention or are asking for personal information. Never click a suspicious looking link. When in doubt, report a phishing attempt to our help desk!
6. Utilize a firewall. Firewalls, such a TREYSTA’s recommended SonicWall, help to keep external threats and bad actors from reaching your essential systems and provides enhanced privacy and security. Interested in learning more about firewalls? Reach out to our team!
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Data Privacy Week is an annual campaign to help individuals and businesses manage personal data – taking place from January 21-27, 2024.