Today (Jan 28th) is Data Privacy Day. The annual event aims to raise awareness about data protection and online privacy, encouraging businesses and consumers to think about the value of their personal data and why they need to protect it.
We’ve all read the headlines and know that personal data is collected and shared (looking at you, Zuckerberg) by third parties. Consumers not only need to take ownership of their personal data, but businesses also need to do more to protect it.
In 2018 alone we saw high-profile data breaches from British Airways, Marriott Hotels and the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal. These type of high-profile breaches on thousands (or even millions) of customers continue to happen, which raises serious concerns about data protection policies not just at smaller businesses, but also multinational companies.
Since the last Data Protection Day in 2018 GDPR legislation has been introduced, which underpins how EU businesses process and handle data.
All businesses need to meet the regulatory requirements of GDPR to be compliant. GDPR’s main points are that data must be kept anonymous, must be protected, and that the individual has authority over who has access to their data.
Graham Marcroft, Operations and Compliance Director at Hyve said “It was great that GDPR really brought personal data protection to the forefront of people’s minds, but everyone needs to realise it isn’t just a ‘tick in the box’ exercise. Everything you do, every project that you start, every form you fill in - make sure you are thinking about how the data is being used and how it is being protected”.
Do your bit
Data Privacy Day may be a one-day event, but it is important to maintain privacy practices all year round. Having a core culture of data privacy in the workplace is essential, especially in terms of staff awareness training.
Having a reliable hosting provider to secure your website, systems and networks is also important. Choose a host with an extensive security suite and accreditations such as ISO 27001 for information security management, to ensure that your data is protected.
All members of staff in your organisation should also receive training in online security and data privacy. Ensure that training covers email scams, phishing attacks, social engineering etc. People are always the weakest link in these instances, so it’s critical to encourage staff to take responsibility for protecting customer’s data as well as their own.
Ask yourself - How much data needs to be secured? How sensitive is it? Where is it stored?
By 2020 it is estimated that the average person will have at least five internet-connected devices in their home. Securing your personal information has never been more important.
The easiest place to start is by using a VPN to encrypt web activity and safeguard access to your network. Also, only enter your personal details onto websites that you trust (https too), don’t use public Wi-Fi connections, and as ever, have strong and secure passwords or use a password manager.
How to get involved
Hyve is sharing security tips on our social channels today and posting a series of blogs about data protection and our security accreditations this week.
Take a look at the resources on Stay Safe Online’s website and use the hashtag #PrivacyAware on Twitter today to show your support and join the conversation.