Data Privacy Day is Every Day

Yesterday, January 28, was Data Privacy Day, an annual campaign about online privacy awareness led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).  This annual event began in 2008 and this years theme is “Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust.”


“Data Privacy Day highlights our ever-more connected lives and the critical roles consumers and businesses play in protecting personal information and online privacy,” says Michael Kaiser, executive director of NCSA. “Our personal information and our habits and interests fuel the next generation of technological advancement like the Internet of Things, which will connect devices in our homes, schools and workplaces. Consumers must learn how best to protect their information and businesses must ensure that they are transparent about the ways they handle and protect personal information. The future holds tremendous opportunities for improving our lives through connected technologies, but we can only build a safer, more trusted internet if everyone works in collaboration to make respecting and protecting personal information a priority.”

While this is an annual awareness campaign, the fact of the matter is that every day is Data Privacy Day.

Here are some tips from this years event:


+ PERSONAL INFO IS LIKE MONEY: VALUE IT. PROTECT IT. Information about you, such as your purchase history or location, has value – just like money. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it’s collected through apps and websites. You should delete unused apps, keep others current and review app permissions.

+ SHARE WITH CARE. Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what it reveals, who might see it and how it could be perceived now and in the future. It’s a good idea to review your social network friends and all contact lists to ensure everyone still belongs.

+ OWN YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE. Set the privacy and security settings on websites and apps to your comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application or browser you use will have different features to limit how and with whom you share information. It’s OK to ask others for help.

+ LOCK DOWN YOUR LOGIN. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media. Choose one account and turn on the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code sent to your mobile device.

+ KEEP A CLEAN MACHINE. Keep all software, operating systems (mobile and PC) and apps up to date to protect data loss from infections and malware.

+ APPLY THE GOLDEN RULE ONLINE. Post only about others as you would have them post about you.

+ SECURE YOUR DEVICES. Every device should be secured by a password or strong authentication – finger swipe, facial recognition etc. These security measures limit access to authorized users only and protect your information if devices are lost or stolen.

+ THINK BEFORE YOU APP. Information about you, such as the games you like to play, your contacts list, where you shop and your location, has tremendous value. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and understand how it’s collected through apps


+ IF YOU COLLECT IT, PROTECT IT. Follow reasonable security measures to keep individuals’ personal information safe from inappropriate and unauthorized access.

+ BE OPEN AND HONEST ABOUT HOW YOU COLLECT, USE AND SHARE CONSUMERS’ PERSONAL INFORMATION. Think about how the consumer may expect their data to be used, and design settings to protect their information by default.

+ BUILD TRUST BY DOING WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO. Communicate clearly and concisely to the public what privacy means to your organization and the steps you take to achieve and maintain privacy.

+ CREATE A CULTURE OF PRIVACY IN YOUR ORGANIZATION. Educate employees on the importance and impact of protecting consumer and employee information as well as the role they play in keeping it safe.

+ DON’T COUNT ON YOUR PRIVACY NOTICE AS YOUR ONLY TOOL TO EDUCATE CONSUMERS ABOUT YOUR DATA PRACTICES. Consider features that allow consumers to opt-in to certain forms of data sharing rather than requiring them to opt-out.

+ CONDUCT DUE DILIGENCE AND MAINTAIN OVERSIGHT OF PARTNERS AND VENDORS. If someone provides services on your behalf, you are also responsible for how they collect and use your customers’ personal information.

To learn more and get involved, visit

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