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What’s on your calendar for January 28? A lunch appointment? A few business meetings? How about Data Privacy Day? Since 2007, people all over the world have set aside January 28 as a day to raise awareness about the issues surrounding data privacy and protection. What does this mean for you? It gives you an opportunity to learn how data privacy affects you and what you can do to protect yourself and others from a potential security breach. Read on to learn how to make the most of Data Privacy Day.
What are the Origins of Data Privacy Day?
Back on January 28, 1981, the Council of Europe opened something called the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (or Convention 108) for signature by its members. In short, the Convention’s goal was to give individuals legal protection regarding the automatic collection of their personal data. While many countries had some regulations governing the automatic collection of data, the Convention provided standard, comprehensive requirements on an international scale. As explained by the National Cyber Security Alliance, it was “the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection.”
Since then, technology has surged forward, and data privacy has become an ever more important issue. In recognition of this reality, many European countries as well as the United States and Canada formally recognize January 28th as Data Privacy Day in honor of the signing of Convention 108.
How Does Data Privacy Affect You?
One of the goals of Data Privacy Day is to encourage people to think about how these issues affect them in their own lives. You might have read about companies and organizations being hacked or about scams that target people’s digital data. You might be aware that the elderly are at especially high risk for identity theft. Perhaps you want to know what your company should be doing to protect your own data and that of your customers. Parents might want guidance on how to talk to their children about data privacy, to empower them now and in the future.
Data privacy affects everyone a bit differently. One of the first steps in taking charge of your data privacy is understanding what role it plays in your unique circumstances. Data Privacy Day seeks to help every individual learn what they need to know to protect themselves and those around them.
“Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust.” – See more here.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Data?
The National Cyber Security Alliance has a wealth of resources available to help you improve your data security, whether you are new to the issue or consider yourself an expert. You can find tips on how to keep your computer and network free of malware and phishing software, how to secure your mobile devices and stay safe on the go, and how to protect personal information that might be stored online.
Parents can learn how to deal with cyberbullying, how to use the parental controls that are commonly available on Internet-enabled devices, and how to talk to kids about data privacy so they grow up to be smart digital citizens.
Businesses have important responsibilities when it comes to data privacy, as well. Customers trust businesses to protect their data, and once that trust is broken, it can be extremely difficult to gain back. The Better Business Bureau participates in Data Security Day by offering tips and resources to help businesses build and implement effective privacy practices.
How Can You Get Involved?
Each year, Data Privacy Day has a theme. In 2016, that theme is “Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data, and Enabling Trust.” This year’s theme is all about taking ownership of your data privacy in every aspect of your life — at home, at work, and in the community. You can find out more about this year’s theme, as well as Data Privacy Day activities and events at StaySafeOnline.org. You will also find excellent resources for teachers, administrators, and volunteers who want to help educate others about data privacy.
Any discussion of data privacy is bound to include social media, as we share so much about ourselves on social platforms. Incorporate Data Privacy Day into your social media presence with a #PrivacyAware profile image, by signing up to be a Data Privacy Day champion, or by participating in tagged chats and conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also take part in a Twitter chat about data privacy on January 27 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time using the hashtag #ChatSTC.
Don’t worry if Data Privacy Day was not already on your radar. You still have plenty of time to learn about and participate in this important annual event. By taking the opportunity now to educate and protect yourself and your data, you will feel better about your security and be prepared to respond to challenges to your data privacy in the years to come.