Data Privacy Day takes place annually on January 28 and is sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance, an organization focused on cyber security education. The purpose of Data Privacy Day is to serve as a reminder of the importance of protecting people’s privacy and maintaining control of their digital footprints.
As stored data becomes more and more critical in both the business environment and also the personal environment, we as online citizens must take the time to be careful. We cannot depend on spam filters, virus protection, and firewalls. It is our responsibility – each and every one of us – to protect our data and our digital footprints.
Here are 10 recommendations as we countdown to this important day:
- Conduct a search for your name and every family member’s name on Spokeo.com – and if you or a family member is listed, follow the steps to remove the listing
- Attend and participate in the weekly #PrivChat conversation on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news on privacy matters every -- it takes place Tuesdays at 12 Noon Eastern time
- Check your privacy settings on Facebook and customize them for specific contacts or lists – you may post photos or comments that you don’t want your boss or co-workers to see, and they will unless you modify your privacy settings and even then remember – nothing is totally secure on the Internet
- Set up Google Alerts with your name, phone number, address, and any other personally identifiable info
- Update key passwords and make sure you don’t use the same passwords on sites where you access financial or other sensitive data – you may also wish to use an online password storage site to avoid keeping tracking of all of your passwords but this presents its own risks as well
- If you keep important data on a USB drive, encrypt the drive
- Make sure your anti-virus protection is up-to-date
- Password-protect all your tech devices: desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets
- For physical security, purchase a confetti shredder and shred all documents – don’t let what happened at the November 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade happen to you [For more details, here’s the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
- For physical security, don’t ever leave a device unattended – thieves work quickly
For more information, I highly recommend that you check out Stay Safe Online. Here’s the link:
About the Author: Allan Pratt teaches the CompTIA A+ certification course and has written on infosecurity topics for InfosecIsland.com and InternetTechSpecialists.com, and has been quoted by InfoWorld. An infosecurity strategist, Allan represents the alignment of management and technology. With an MBA Degree and four CompTIA certs in hardware, software, networking, and security, Allan translates tech issues into everyday language that is easily understandable by all business units. Expertise includes installation and maintenance of all aspects of the PC and peripheral lifecyle and the planning and integration of end-to-end security solutions. Follow Allan on Facebook and Twitter: @Tips4Tech.
Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author. Security Bistro is not responsible for the article’s content or messaging.