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Data Privacy Day 2015

What is Data Privacy Day?

Launched January 28th 2008 as an extension of Europe’s Data Protection Day celebration, Data Privacy Day (DpD) aims to empower and educate consumers and businesses about the importance of data privacy and the affect of their digital footprint.

DpD is a series of events online and offline intended to bring awareness of the importance of privacy and how to protect it.

Why is Privacy Important?

There are many reasons why maintaining your privacy online is important. Protecting your privacy helps impede the theft of financial information and identities. However, there are other ways that your privacy can be breached without you even knowing about it. Many applications and websites will try to track your activities online and then sell that information to third parties.

How is Privacy Breached?

In today’s digital age, it’s all too easy to expose personal information online in many ways. Social media can give away sensitive information about you such as your name, address, date of birth and location. Cybercriminals will also attempt to trick users into releasing information such as log in credentials and financial information through social engineering tactics such as phishing and social media scams. In addition to social engineering, there are thousands of variants of malware in the cyber landscape, all aimed at stealing your data.

It’s not just cybercriminals that are after your information, either. Websites and applications can track your activity and sell it to third parties, usually advertising firms. Have you ever noticed ads appear that are related to your online activity? That’s targeted advertising, and that’s one of the ways the information sold about you is being used.

How Can You Protect Your Data?

  • Keep a Clean Machine- If you haven’t used a program in months- uninstall it. If you have a lot of old documents that you don’t access anymore, you can delete those as well, or store them offline on an external hard drive. These can be repositories of personal information that you may have forgotten about. If you haven’t used a program in a while, chances are it is outdated. Be sure to stay up to date with software updates as well, as hackers often look for these vulnerabilities in outdated software.
  • Use Secure Passwords- Passwords are the keys to our digital lives. Cybercriminals employ many tactics to try and crack them. To make this task difficult for them, use strong, complicated passwords. A good password should be at least eight characters long, uses a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use full words, names, addresses, phone numbers or any other easily identifiable personal information. Be sure to avoid using the same password across multiple websites as well.
  • Two-Factor Authentication- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), if available, is another way of verifying your identity other than just a username and password. 2FA is comprised of something you know- such as a password, something you have- a mobile phone that a code can be sent to, or something you are- such as a fingerprint.
  • Secure Your Home Network- Change the default username and password on anything that connects to your network, especially your Internet router. Use Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), which will encrypt the data traveling through your network. Turn on all firewalls on both hardware and software programs.
  • Be Aware of Phishing Attempts- Phishers generally attempt to impersonate a well-known organization, such as a banking or financial institution in order to try to obtain your user credentials, or deliver malware to your computer via suspicious links or attachments in email messages. Never click on attachments or links from unknown senders or from suspicious looking emails. Instead, if you think your account is in jeopardy, go directly to the website in question by typing the address into the URL bar in your browser rather than the link in the message.
  • Use Comprehensive Security Software- In addition to protecting your machine from malware, a good security software program such as Norton Security will protect you from other threats on the Internet landscape. There are still many vulnerabilities out there such as phishing, spyware, rogue websites, adware, keyloggers and more.
  • Be Aware of Your Digital Footprint- Whatever you post online is there forever, even if you delete it from where it was originally posted. A digital footprint is somewhat of a digital paper trail. Forum registrations, videos, photos, just about anything you post will all leave traces of information about yourself online.
  • Use Privacy Settings on Social Media Sites- Most social media sites will give you options to select who you are sharing your information with. Be sure those settings are set for trusted individuals and friends, rather than set to public for the whole world to see. You can check your privacy settings on popular websites via the Data Privacy Day website.


I guess Privacy Day is past


I guess Privacy Day is past but since you are an employee, Nadia, I thought I'd see if maybe you can bring this to the attention of...somebody who might do something? I can't think of anything more dangerous to Privacy than being deprived of the ability to decide whether or not to allow firewall penetration: https://community.norton.com/en/forums/norton-security-auto-select?page=...

Thanks for any help & good post.