DATA PRIVACY DAY LOGO

 

Data Privacy Day – or Data Protection Day if you’re in Europe – is upon us once again on Sunday January 28th. If peanut brittle can get its own day (yes, it’s true and if you’re reading this in real time then you can just make it), then why not data privacy and protection?  Data is serious business, and with more attention than ever before on data breaches and the resulting consequences, it seems right to take this opportunity to think about the data we make available online.

One of our clients, Tripwire, a leading global provider of security and compliance solutions for enterprises and industrial organisations, conducted a poll that asked “who are you most concerned about collecting your private information? The government, corporations, identify theft criminals, or online stalkers/harassers?”. Of the 315 who participated, the majority (40%) said they would be most worried about corporations stealing their information. Nearly a third (27%) said they were most concerned about the government gathering their critical data, whereas only a fifth (21%) voted for identity theft criminals as being their main concern. Only 12% were concerned about online stalkers and harassers storing their private information.

It says a lot that the overwhelming majority 315 people are more concerned about governments and corporations collecting their private data than criminals and online stalkers. It also strengthens the use case for the upcoming GDPR, as it shows that people are indeed concerned about how organisations are treating our personal information.

Tripwire experts have shared the following tips to keep your data private:

Tim Erlin, VP of Product Management and Strategy at Tripwire:

“Nearly the entire economy is geared to convince you that your data really doesn’t need to be private, and that you should freely share it. From social media, to loyalty programs, to smart home devices; all of these trends are built on the back of your data. Remember that it’s yours, and it’s valuable and you have a right to protect it and keep it private. That leads you to making explicit choices to share, rather than sharing by default. And maybe, that awareness changes a few of those choices.”

Paul Norris, senior systems engineer for EMEA at Tripwire:

“As everyday interaction with the world around us is becoming more reliant on computer systems, it’s even more vital that you should care and take action around your data privacy. These days, personal identifiable identification (PII) data can be stored at a lot of places ranging from local drives on laptops, through to portable media and cloud providers storing data online. It’s imperative that you maintain individual strong passwords for all your online accounts, so if one account is compromised, other accounts do not suffer. And as you will have so many passwords to manage, consider using a password management piece of software and enable two-factor authentication to add a layer of security to your solution.”

Tyler Reguly, manager of security research and development at Tripwire:

“Accept that your data is not private. Once you do that, you will find yourself less stressed when your data is inevitably breached. I have three rules that I try to live by:

-If they don’t utilize Amazon/PayPal for payments, place your order elsewhere.

-If you wouldn’t get it developed at the store, don’t take the picture.

-Don’t take risks with your primary PC. Restrict social media browsing to cell phones, tablets, and secondary PCs.

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