Today is Data Privacy Day, an annual international effort led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), to promote awareness among businesses and individuals about the importance of privacy.

Privacy is the ability to control access to our personal information.  Many people are unaware and uninformed about how their personal information is collected or shared in today’s digital society.  Some don’t realize that “free” services are not always free, and can be paid for through targeted advertising by tracking and collecting their data.  Consumer information is valuable; private information is priceless.

Government, businesses and consumers all play a role in privacy protection.  Your digital footprint is the unique trail of data you create while using the internet, and it lasts a lifetime.  While the U.S. has online consumer protection laws, individuals can’t always rely on the government and businesses to protect them.  Accepting responsibility for the role you play in guarding your privacy is essential.

Recommended Tips from the NCSA:

  • Share With Care: Think before posting about yourself and others online.  Consider what it reveals, who might see it, and how it could be perceived now and in the future.
  • Own Your Online Presence: Set the privacy and security settings on websites and apps to your comfort level.  Keeps apps current and review permissions; delete unused apps.
  • Think Before You Act: Information about you, such as the games you play, your contacts, where you shop, and your location, has tremendous value.  Consider who gets that information and understand how it’s collected through websites and apps.
  • Lock Down Your Login: Use complex passwords/passphrases and the strongest authentication tools available including biometrics and multi-factor authentication.

Author Meredith Paton

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