The Data Privacy Day (DPD) occurs annually on January 28th to draw attention to data privacy and data protection. Data Privacy Day highlights the impact on our privacy rights and emphasizes the importance of assessing and protecting personal information. The Data Privacy Day is also a great opportunity for companies around the world to help their employees understand key privacy awareness best practices.
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Data Privacy Day Background
Data Privacy Day began in January 2008 in the United States and Canada as an extension of the celebration of Data Protection Day in Europe. Data Protection Day commemorates the signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection, on January 28, 1981.
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is officially spearheading the Data Privacy Day campaign. A reputable advisory committee of privacy professionals advises assisting the campaign in aligning thoughtfully and meaningfully with current privacy issues.
Data Privacy Day is a time of greater privacy awareness and the signing of an educational endeavor. Throughout the year, NCSA educates customers on owning their online presence and showing organizations how privacy is good for the business. NCSA’s data protection campaign is an integral part of “STOP. THINK. CONNECT”, the global online campaign for security and data protection.
What is Data Privacy?
When we talk about Data Privacy Day, it is important to know what is Data Privacy. Data privacy or information privacy is a part of data protection that deals with the proper handling of data with a focus on compliance with data protection regulations. Data confidentiality focuses on how data is collected, stored, managed, and shared with any third party, as well as compliance with applicable privacy laws.
In addition to data security, data privacy creates a data protection area that uses protected and available data as output. However, data privacy is not only about the proper processing of data but also about the general expectations of personal privacy.
What are the Elements of Data Privacy?
Data privacy or information privacy consists of 3 components:
- The right of an individual to be alone and to control their personal data.
- Proper handling, processing, collection and sharing of personal data.
- Compliance with data protection laws.
Why is Data Privacy Important?
Everyone needs to know how our digital lives show parts of our real people and how the things we do and share over the internet affect real life. January 28, Personal Data Privacy Day, reminds us of the importance of protecting what we share online as a crucial part of maintaining privacy.
We share so much of our personal information online that sometimes we fail to realize that we are already revealing more than we’d like.
How many times have you had to provide or enter your full name, even middle name, home address and phone number, schools, and previous employment information so that you can download a document that may or may not contain the information you provided? There are probably too many.
How many times have you rushed to click the “Agree” or “I automatically Accept” button on an End User License Agreement (EULA) that you didn’t really read or understand? Just count how many apps are on your mobile devices. How many times has someone you know commented on something that you did online in a way that you did not expect and that you cannot take back?
There is a risk of becoming indifferent about data privacy, especially if children who are involved in technology want to share anything about their lives for instant digital satisfaction through social media or online games. It is the role of parents, guardians, educators, and policymakers to be aware of what can happen when privacy is violated online.
Difference between Data Privacy Data Security
The difference between privacy and security depends on what data is protected, how it is protected, who it is protected from, and who is responsible for that protection. Security is the protection of your data from malicious threats, and privacy is the responsible use of your data.
Data security is, of course, about securing sensitive data. Data protection and security gradually differ in who they protect data from or from whom. Data security is primarily focused on preventing unauthorized access to data through breaches or leaks, regardless of who the unauthorized person is.
To achieve this, organizations use tools and technologies such as firewalls, user authentication, network restrictions, and internal security practices to block such access. This also includes security technologies such as tokenization and encryption to further protect the data by making it unreadable.
However, data privacy is about ensuring that the sensitive data that a company processes, stores, or transmits is recorded in a compliant manner and with the owner’s consent.
So privacy is less about protecting data from malicious threats and more about using it responsibly and according to the wishes of customers and users to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. But that does not mean that it should not include security measures to ensure that privacy is protected. For example, attempts to prevent sensitive data from being linked to its data subject or natural person or public privacy provisions such as storing personal data in different locations to reduce the likelihood of identification, obscurity, or identification.
Too often, the terms security and privacy are used interchangeably, but you can find that they are actually different – although sometimes they are difficult to distinguish. While security controls can be implemented without complying with privacy considerations, privacy concerns cannot be addressed without first applying effective security practices.
How to Celebrate Data Privacy Day?
Data Privacy Day is a good opportunity to assess how your company protects and uses customer data. The nature of data confidentiality is so relevant that governments around the world recognize Data Privacy Day is an international holiday to commemorate the importance of protecting consumer data.
Here are a few ways you can celebrate Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day Celebration Tips for Consumers
- Your Personal Information can be someone’s business.
Information about you, such as your purchase history or location, has value – just like money. Consider who gets that information and how they collect it through apps and websites. You must delete unused applications, keep others, and review application permissions.
- Sharing and Caring
Before posting about yourself and others online, think about it. Think about what it reveals, who might see it, and how it might be perceived now and in the future.
- Maintain your online appearance
Adjust the data protection and security settings on websites and apps to exchange information to suit your level of comfort. Every device, application, or browser you use has different features to limit how and with whom you share information.
- Think before you Jump
There is great value in information about the games you like to play, your contact list, where you shop, and your geographical location. Be mindful of who gets that information and understand how it is collected through websites and apps.
Data Privacy Day Celebration Tips for Organizations
- If you collect it, protect it
Follow appropriate security measures to protect individuals’ personal information from inappropriate and unauthorized access.
- Transparency & Trust
Be open and honest about how you collect, use and share customer information. Think about how the customer expects their data to be used and plan the settings to protect their information by default.
- Build Trust
Clearly and concisely communicate to the public what privacy means for your organization and the steps you take to achieve and maintain it.
- Proper diligence and maintenance
If someone provides services for you, you are also responsible for how they collect and use your customers’ personal information.
Data Privacy Best Practices for Everyone
Here are some best practices for data privacy that should be practiced by everyone, both professional and private, to keep sensitive information safe at all times. Events and programs are held around the world to raise awareness of the importance of data privacy and best practices during Data Privacy Day.
You should know what is personal information
Personal information is defined as information that can be used independently or in conjunction with other information to identify a person.
Below are few examples;
- Name, address and date of birth
- driver’s license or Passport or ID numbers
- history of Medical, criminal, or financial
- IP address if it can be traced back to a person
- DNA or Fingerprints
Beware of phishing attacks
Phishing is a cyberattack that uses spoofed email as a weapon. The goal is to get the email recipient to believe that the message is something they want or need – for example, a request from their bank or a note from someone at their company – and a link to click or download an attachment.
Consider these best practices whenever you receive and respond to emails:
- If you cannot verify the sender’s identity, do not open the email. If you know where the email came from, but it sounds a little weird, be careful. If you are not sure about the sender’s identity, go to their phone to verify the message’s validity.
- Never click on the link embedded in the junk e-mail. It can open insecure web pages and trigger unwanted downloads.
- Never disclose confidential information via email. A recognized organization does not request such data by email.
- If you receive an email declaring that you have won a prize or are eligible for a special discount, the deal does not seem to be too good and true.
Report Scam Emails
Most email providers have mechanisms that make it easy to report email scams. You can enable the “Report Phishing” button and similar capabilities on platforms such as Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo.
Be Careful when online shopping.
Online shopping has become a big part of many people’s daily lives. However, this means that securing your sensitive information about e-commerce sites or third-party trading platforms is more important than ever.
Follow the steps below to secure your online shopping experience.
- Verify that the website is legitimate
Check the URL, pay close attention to domains and subdomains, and make sure it starts with “https: //”. The “s” indicates encrypted communication between you (your browser) and the website.
- Beware of identity theft and related scams
- Use multi-factor authentication
Many online stores will ask you to create an account with them when you check out. If you choose to do so, create a strong password and enable multi-factor authentication, if offered. Also, avoid storing your payment information on a website. The convenience may not be worth the risk if you don’t shop the site frequently.
Avoid use public Wi-Fi
You might be tempted to use open Wi-Fi networks to shop online. Don’t trust your address, credit card information, and other personal information on public Wi-Fi, whether you’re buying online or just using in-store Wi-Fi, to save time. For additional security, use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect data transfers and limit outside activities.
Data Privacy Day 2021
The theme for Data Privacy Day 2021 is “Own Your Privacy.” Surveys and industry reports show that many of us are increasingly losing control of our own data. Despite this perception, there are still tactics that each of us can use to learn what types of data you generate online and how it’s collected, shared, and used.
On Data Privacy Day, the NCSA (National Cyber Security Alliance) demonstrates how the concept of “own your privacy” can be applied to personal and professional lives.
Carefully consider the personal information you provide through the app or website.
Before clicking “Send,” consider what you can reveal by posting any information on social media about your colleagues or loved ones.
Check web services and applications’ privacy and security settings and adjust them to your comfort level for sharing information.
Make sure that the antivirus software on your work computer and devices is up to date and that browsers and other online tools are patched with the latest updates.
Encourage employees to keep an eye on data protection throughout their working days.
Although January 28th is Data Privacy Day to raise awareness about privacy issues, don’t end the conversation on January 29th. Data privacy awareness training, simulations, and communication after the Data Privacy Day will also help keep the conversation interesting and engaging throughout the year.
Check out these NCSA Data Privacy Day Resources for more information;