Take control of how you share your data this Data Privacy Week. Could you be sharing more than you think? Every click, post, and online interaction creates a digital footprint. This data, as trivial as it might seem, paints a vivid picture of you, from your socioeconomic status to your personal preferences.
It all contributes to a profile that companies might use to make assumptions about your habits and interests. And yes, this information can be a goldmine for companies who may sell it for profit. If this data falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to identity theft, fraud, or other privacy breaches.
Recognizing Data Privacy Week
Data Privacy Week (January 21 – January 27) is an annual campaign to spread awareness about data privacy and educate individuals on how to secure their personal information. It is recognized as an extension of Data Protection Day in Europe, which commemorates the January 28, 1981 signing of Convention 108, the first legal international treaty that prioritizes privacy and data protection.
The National Cybersecurity Alliance has announced this year’s theme as “Take Control of Your Data.”
Make Smarter Choices With Your Data
You don’t have to be a CEO to start making smarter decisions. 58% of users said they would be willing to share data to avoid paying for online content. (Statista). Remember nothing is truly “free.” Think about it. Why does a Solitaire game need to know all your contacts? Common types of data collected by websites and apps include:
- Behaviors, interests, and purchases
- Geographic location
- Social security #s
- Drivers license #’s
- Information about your physical health
While you can’t control everything, there are ways you can manage your data privacy. Before you consent to sharing your data, ask yourself…
- Is the requested data worth the service, app or game?
- Can you still use the app while maintaining control of your data privacy?
- Does the requested data have any relevance to the app or service?
- If you haven’t used an app or service for several months, is it worth keeping around considering the potential for it to collect and share your data?
Adjust Your Data Privacy Settings
Fortunately, reviewing the privacy settings of your apps, accounts, and devices is easy. Simply go to the “Settings” section and adjust the options to your desired level of privacy. Start with one or two accounts, and with time, you’ll get into the habit of regularly customizing your settings to ensure your data stays private.
If you’re unsure about where to find your privacy/security settings, The National Cybersecurity Alliance has free, in-depth resources that can help. For instance, check out the Manage Your Privacy Settings page which allows you to review the settings of social media accounts, retail stores, apps and more.
More Ways To Participate In Data Privacy Week
Data is a currency. Invest it wisely and keep it protected. Only about 33% of consumers believe that companies are currently using their data responsibly (McKinsey). Consequently, more people are treating their data like cash, and businesses should do the same. To protect your customers’ and employees’ data, consider these steps:
- Develop unique passwords for each account.
- Utilize a password manager.
- Enable multifactor authentication (MFA).
- Promptly update software.
- Recognize and avoid phishing attempts.
Encourage Data Privacy In The Workplace
As businesses increasingly gather consumer data, the need for data protection measures grows. Cisco reports that 94% of businesses acknowledge the potential loss of customer trust if data protection is inadequate.
Consumers are not afraid to terminate relationships with companies that don’t take data protection measures seriously. From social media platforms, retailers, and credit card providers to ISPs and banks or financial institutions, reputations have been damaged due to data breaches. It’s up to your organization to build a culture that prioritizes cybersecurity. If you collect it, protect it.
Our Commitment To Data Security
From understanding the value of each piece of information we share online to adjusting privacy settings on our digital devices, we have the tools and knowledge to safeguard our digital footprint.
At Just Solutions, we believe it is our responsibility to empower individuals and businesses to better manage privacy and protect data. If you have any questions on how we safeguard our customer and employee data, please reach out.