data privacy day.jpgDid you know that today is Data Privacy Day? It’s an international holiday that occurs every year on the 28th of January, and whose purpose is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. It is currently observed in the United States, Canada, Israel and 47 European countries.

Data privacy these days has become a hot topic of discussion, what with GDPR recently being enforced on major companies like Facebook and Google, Marriott/Starwood’s disclosure of up to 500 million breached data records, and California’s sweeping data privacy law enacted in June 2018. In the spirit of the holiday, we’ll offer some tips you can use to help keep your data secure.

Enable two-factor authentication: We can’t say it enough! If this isn’t something you have already done, go do it. Two factor (or multi factor) is one of the easiest security measures you can take. No really, go do it. We recommend using a passcode generated by a security app such as Google Authenticator or Duo Security instead of the standard SMS text where possible.

Update your software regularly: Software updates are designed to address security vulnerabilities, bugs and other issues that may affect performance or the integrity of data stored in the application. Paying attention and following these updates can help ensure that the software you run is working to protect you against the latest known vulnerabilities. However, there are some scenarios where installing the latest patches as soon as they are released may not make sense. In these cases, it’s important to have disaster recovery and offsite backup plans in place to ensure minimal data loss when you’re ready to install the new software.

Read those privacy policies you keep ignoring: We know, it’s a pain to read through 90 pages of legalese concerning “the party” and “the client” and that you’d much rather just click “accept terms and conditions”. But scanning through these policies gives you important information about any data you input and how it’s used by the company or website you’re browsing. If you don’t like your information being viewed by third parties, for example, the privacy policy may offer a way to opt out.

Privacy Day extends beyond today: The important thing to remember is that checking off these steps doesn’t mean you can assume you’re now fail proof against hackers and can rest easy until next year. Cybersecurity is something that requires constant diligence and re-evaluation. Depending on your situation (personal privacy or that of your business), security is actually quite complex and can involve multiple departments including risk, governance, security and IT.

Data privacy isn’t to be taken lightly, but that doesn’t mean it has to be overwhelming either. If you need help securing your data and ensuring its integrity remains intact, you don’t have to go it alone. We offer secure cloud, disaster recovery and data protection solutions that are compliant with a variety of regulations including HIPAA, PCI, SOC 2 and ISO 27001.