January 24-28 is Data Privacy Week, sponsored by the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA). This campaign started as a one-day event in 2008 to remind people about the importance of respecting privacy, safeguarding data, and enabling trust. Consumers should learn how to secure their personal information in their online accounts. Also, businesses must be more transparent about how they collect and use data. Furthermore, regulations such as the California Consumer Privacy Act and the GDPR made privacy a top priority for businesses. In 2022, the NCA expanded the Data Privacy Day campaign into Data Privacy Week.
“As we continually share more data on our connected devices, businesses are collecting and using this personal information more than ever before. Just think about everything we do online – from healthcare and banking transactions to posting family vacation photos to pinpointing our location at any given time. Data Privacy Day provides an opportunity for everyone to encourage organizations to improve data privacy practices and inform consumers about the number of ways their information is being used,” said Kelvin Coleman, the NCA’s now-former executive director, in 2019. “In short, privacy is good for business. If companies protect data and respect privacy, they will earn the trust of their customers. It is, however, up to all of us to learn about and practice simple steps to help protect our personal information.”
According to a survey by Blue Fountain Media, the web users surveyed said they overwhelmingly object to how their information is being shared with and used by third-party vendors. Of those polled, 90 percent were “very concerned” about internet privacy. Also, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) states that nearly 75 percent of Americans feel it is “extremely” or “very” important that companies have easy-to-understand, accessible information about what personal data is collected about them, how it is used, and whom it is shared.
Data Privacy Tips for Businesses
- Conduct an assessment: Examine your data collection practices and understand which privacy laws apply to your business.
- If you collect it, protect it: Follow reasonable security measures to protect individuals’ personal information from inappropriate and unauthorized access. For example, your business can follow a privacy framework, such as NIST, AICPA, and ISO/IEC 27701.
- Be open and honest about how you collect, use, and share personal information: Communicate your data use practices and any features or settings you offer to consumers to manage their privacy.
- Create a culture of privacy in your organization: Educate employees about their role in privacy, security, and respecting and protecting the personal information of colleagues and customers.
- In addition to your privacy practices, do your due diligence and monitor partners and vendors: You are also responsible for how they use and collect personal information.
Data Privacy Tips for Individuals
You can also follow these NCA tips for protecting your privacy:
- Share with care: Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what it reveals, who might see it, and how people can perceive it now and in the future.
- Own your online presence: Set the privacy and security settings on websites and apps to your comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application, or browser you use will have features to limit how and with whom you share information.
- Think before you act: Information about you, such as the games you like to play, your contacts list, where you shop, and your geographic location, has tremendous value. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and understand how they collect it through websites and apps.
- Lockdown your login: Make sure to create unique and complex passwords for each online account and then store them in a password manager. Also, add another layer of protection by using authentication tools like a unique, one-time code through an app on your mobile device.
If you have any questions regarding your data privacy, you may contact us at 877-794-3811 or email@example.com.
Note: This blog was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.