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Townsend Security Data Privacy Blog

Data Privacy Day 2012 - Keeping Your Personal Information Safe

Posted by Luke Probasco on Jan 26, 2012 11:48:00 AM

data privacy dayData Privacy Day (January 28, annually) is an annual international celebration designed to encourage awareness about privacy and education on best privacy practices.  Sponsored by companies such as Intel, eBay, and Google, the day is designed to promote awareness on the many ways personal information is collected, stored, used, and shared, as well as education about privacy practices that will enable individuals to protect their personal information.  

As a data privacy company, this day is almost like our birthday – a day for the IT world to focus on our slice of the pie (can we celebrate Data Privacy Day with pie too?).  It also is a time to reflect on some of the data breaches that made news headlines in the previous year – “is my organization making some of the same mistakes?”

In honor of Data Privacy Day, StaySafeOnline.org has published a document titled “Stop. Think. Connect” that gives tips and advice on keeping your personal information safe.  Here is some of their advice:

Protect Your Personal Information

  • Secure your accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords.  Many account providers now offer additional ways for you verify who you are before you conduct business on that site.
  • Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.

Connect with Care

  • Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine.
  • Protect your $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the sites is security enabled.  Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://”, which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “http://” is not secure.

Keep a Clean Machine

  • Keep security software current: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
  • Automate software updates: Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks.  Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option. 

By following these few tips your personal information/data will be more secure than ever.  We also urge you to think about who you give your personal information.  Do you think twice about whether it is being properly protected?

For more information on data privacy, download our podcast Data Privacy for the Non-Technical Person.  Patrick Townsend, our Founder & CTO, discusses what PII (personally identifiable information) is, what the most effective methods for protecting PII, as well as the first steps your company should take towards establishing a data privacy strategy.

 

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Topics: security, Data Privacy

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