What is Data Privacy Day? – The Importance of Privacy Day: Understanding Your Rights and Protections

What is Data Privacy Day

What is Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy Day is an international holiday celebrated every January 28. That was created to raise our awareness about the importance of data privacy and security, whether online or offline. It’s a reminder that we can take steps toward safeguarding our information.

Data Privacy Day is like any other holiday that allows us to reflect and acknowledge the event in question and even take action towards the goal of the holiday. For example, we celebrate Valentine’s Day every February 14 to celebrate love! 

Months before Valentine’s day, we are bombarded with advertising and reminders to celebrate this holiday with our significant other. In most stores, we find gifts in shapes that symbolize love. For example, using the color red, heart shapes, and cute messages about love are everywhere. 

For some people, celebrating Valentine’s day is a high priority. They may even prepare a restaurant reservation in advance, plan marriage proposals. And find creative ways to express their love for their other loved person. Why is that? Because Valentine’s day has a meaning and matters to them.

Even if Valentine’s Day isn’t a big celebration or individuals aren’t in a relationship. They still get the awareness of the event happening whether they choose to participate or not. We can choose Data Privacy Day and make it relevant and meaningful at home and in business.

History of Data Privacy Day

The initiative to set a date to observe data privacy started in Europe after polling indicated that its citizens needed to fully understand their data privacy rights. As a result, the Council of Europe and the European Commission held the first data protection day on January 28, 2007. The goal was to encourage people to become more aware of personal data protection and their rights and responsibilities. 

In 2009. Rep. David Price D-N.C., introduced the House Resolution that January 28 was to be declared National Data Privacy Day in the U.S. The resolution passed by a unanimous vote of 402-0

How Do We Celebrate Data Privacy Day?

Data Privacy Day is essential to help us recognize why protecting our data matters. In addition, it reminds businesses and individuals to take extra precautions when securing and protecting our information. Therefore, I invite you this day to be Intentional, Aware, and Mindful regarding your online security and privacy. You can celebrate Data Privacy Day in your business or home in several ways.

How?

Spend five minutes of your day reflecting on how your data is being used and by whom. With the increasing use of technology in our daily lives, it has become more critical than ever to ensure that our confidential information remains secure and private.

At home, you can take a few simple steps to secure your online presence. For example, you can choose a password that matters to you and update it into a passphrase or meaningful affirmation so it becomes a strong password or you can choose to adopt a password manager. You can invest a few minutes in enabling two-factor authentication for your social media accounts, email, and sensitive services. Finally, you can simply check on this day for updating software and applications on your phone, computer, and electronic devices.  

Many companies already join the celebration of Data Privacy Day by educating employees about data privacy best practices, implementing policies that protect customer data, and conducting regular security audits or self-checks. Additionally, businesses can use this day as an opportunity to review their existing data protection strategies and make any necessary changes or improvements. By taking these proactive steps, everyone can help ensure their data remains safe and secure.

Why is Data Privacy Important

Because Data Privacy is an important issue in today’s digital world. It is a fundamental human right that data protection laws must protect, as it is also necessary for individuals to feel comfortable engaging online. 

Ensuring data privacy keeps personal information secure and prevents misuse or unauthorized sharing without user consent.

Organizations are responsible for demonstrating to their customers and users that they can be trusted to manage their personal data. When the trust is broken, it can lead to data loss with severe consequences for victims, such as fraud or harassment. Their data could be sold without their consent. Data loss also exposes personal information to hackers, scammers, and Cybermonsters.

The victims may suffer unwanted marketing or advertising, which can be intrusive and damaging to an individual’s reputation. Data privacy is essential for protecting people from these types of abuses, as well as ensuring that organizations are held accountable for how they handle personal data. This is why Data protection laws and regulations continue to evolve.

What are Data Protection Laws and Regulations

Data protection regulations are designed to protect the privacy of individuals and organizations by regulating how certain types of data are collected, transmitted, and used. Personal data includes a wide range of information, such as names, photos, email addresses, bank account details, IP addresses of personal computers, and biometric data. Data protection laws vary between countries, states, and industries. For example, The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe; the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States; the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) in Canada; and the Australian Privacy Principles (APP).

Each of these laws has its own set of rules regarding how information is collected, how data subjects are informed, and what control a data subject has over their information once it is transferred.

Non-compliance with Data Privacy regulations can have serious consequences for organizations. Depending on the violation and governing entity involved, companies may face reputation damage or monetary fines if they fail to comply with the applicable laws. It is important to note that compliance with one set of regulations does not guarantee compliance with all laws. Organizations must be aware of all applicable regulations to remain compliant. As more countries enact data privacy laws, organizations must stay up-to-date on the latest regulations and ensure that their websites, services, and companies are compliant.  

7 Ways to Protect Your Data

Incremental action makes a big difference in our cyber safety. To celebrate Data Privacy Day, I invite you to incorporate simple practices that can help protect you, your family and business from online threats and keep hackers, scammers and Cybermonsters away from you. 

Below are seven simple ways you can protect your data

1- Put passwords on your phone and tablets

Cell phones, laptops, and tablets are essential tools in our modern lives. They contain a wealth of personal information, from emails to banking details, and it is vital to protect this data from unauthorized access. One of the best ways to do this is by setting up passwords on each device.

Passwords are the first line of defense against theft or loss of your device. Without a password, anyone who gets their hands on your phone or laptop can easily access all your data. Put more meaning into your passwords using simple guidelines in my previous blog post. Set up two-factor authentication whenever possible as an extra layer of security. 2FA requires users to enter both a password and another form of verification, such as a code sent via text message, before they can log in. With these measures in place, you can rest assured that your data will remain safe even if your device is lost or stolen.

 2- Review and choose wisely your phone lock-screen notifications

Disabling lock-screen notifications on your smartphone is a great way to keep personal information from being seen by others. Notifications from apps such as text messages and social media can be hidden with just a few simple steps.

You can also customize the text message previews so you only see the name of the person texting you or disable previews altogether on your lock-screen. This will help ensure that only one can see who is messaging you after unlocking your phone first. Disabling lock-screen notifications is a great way to keep your personal information secure and private while still allowing you access to important notifications when needed.

3- Keep your online search or browsing to yourself

When it comes to keeping your browsing to yourself, the most important thing you can do is use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN will encrypt all data coming to or leaving your computer or phone and hide your location. A VPN is critical if you ever need to use free WiFi hotspots in public places, as these networks are often unsecured and vulnerable to Cybermonsters. By using a VPN, you can protect your personal information from being accessed by others who may be using the same network. It is crucial to make sure that the VPN service you choose is legitimate and one that you can trust. Consider reputable companies and do not use a free VPN product. Additionally, ensure that the company has a good privacy policy so they won’t share any of your data with third parties.

4- Be Intentional about the personal information you share on the phone or through email or text

Be Intentional and Aware of the potential risks associated with giving out personal information over the phone, through email, or via text. Phishing scams are becoming increasingly common and can sometimes be challenging to spot. Remember that no legitimate organization or government office will ever ask for your personal information over the phone, through email, or via text. If you receive a call, email, or text from someone asking for such information, it is likely a scam.

Suppose the request is legitimate. In that case, it is best to look up the organization’s contact information separately and follow up by phone. This way, you can verify that the request is indeed legitimate before providing any personal information. Additionally, be Mindful and fully present if you ever need to provide financial details such as credit card numbers or bank account numbers over the phone. Others may eavesdrop on your conversation, putting your finances at risk and leaving you vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. Finally, I recommend never sharing your credit card information in an email.

5- Be Mindful of where you do your online shopping and banking

Online shopping and banking can be convenient and time-saving. Still, it’s essential to be aware of the risks associated with using public networks. When you use a shared computer or a business’s WiFi connection, such as at a local cafe, you don’t know how secure the network really is. As a result, it could be vulnerable to cybercriminals looking to steal your personal information or financial data.

It’s best to avoid doing online shopping and banking at the local cafe or any public WiFi to protect yourself from potential security threats. Instead, use your home network or, if you are traveling, use your device carrier service and a VPN when conducting these activities. Taking these precautions can help ensure that your online shopping and banking experience is safe and secure.

6- Keeping your with your updates

Regularly updating your software is integral to staying safe online and protecting your data. Updates include your antivirus software, your operating system, and any other applications you use. Cyber threats are constantly changing, and many updates address security issues or “holes” that have been identified since the last version was released. Without these updates, your devices operate with “open holes” that may be vulnerable to malicious attacks or data breaches.

Regularly updating your software can also improve performance and stability. Newer versions often include bug fixes and new features that can make using the software easier and more efficient. Additionally, some updates may include compatibility improvements for newer hardware or operating systems. Keeping up with the latest version of your software can ensure that it runs smoothly on all of your devices.

7- Be Intentional, Aware, and Mindful to protect your data

You are equipped with the best tools to protect your information and use your technology most efficiently. The tools you possess are simple to activate, won’t cost you anything, and won’t ever expire, they are yours to use and decide and they don’t depend on external factors. I call them your Inner Cyber tools. One of the most powerful tools to learn and cultivate is to Be I AM. Be Intentional, Aware, and Mindful online and offline.

Be Intentional means you use technology with purpose, for example, no oversharing personal details on your social media that could endanger you or your loved ones, like posting your vacation pictures once you return home.

And Be Aware means that you know the online dangers and are aware of cyber safety alternatives to protect you and your family. 

Lastly, Be Mindful means staying fully present when using your technology—for example, avoiding multitasking when accessing your bank accounts, shopping online, or sharing personal sensitive details over the phone. 

In summary, Data Privacy Day is a day established to raise awareness about the importance of data privacy & security both online and offline. It helps to protect individuals’ fundamental human rights. And allows them to feel secure while engaging in activities interacting with technology.

To celebrate Data Privacy Day. You can choose to adopt simple tactical steps such as setting strong passwords, updating software, enabling two-factor authentication, and regularly conducting security self-checks. In addition, I invite you to activate your Inner Cyber tools. Learn about the Be I AM. And choose to be Intentional, Aware, and Mindful to protect your and your family’s cyber safety and privacy.

What simple step can you take on January 28 to celebrate Data Privacy Day? Please share in the comments below. 

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Live Happily Ever Cyber!

Sandra Estok, CEO and Founder of Way2Protect | Happily Ever Cyber!

Sandra Estok

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