Today marks the annual celebration of Data Privacy Day (DPD). To honor this day, we wanted to remind everyone why data privacy is important and offer some tips to secure your data.
Data Privacy Day (DPD), started off as a global effort to draw awareness to data privacy and safeguards. DPD also commemorates the signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection, in 1981. Convention 108 set the precedent for many critical data privacy laws to come. To honor this day, we wanted to remind everyone why data privacy is important and offer some tips to secure your data.
Just as people put locks on their doors or prized possessions, people should place digital locks and safeguards on their data. Data is the equivalent of gold in the digital world and is worth an incredible amount to companies who wish to target you based on your age, interests, location, etc. Just because data is not tangible like cash or jewelry doesn't mean it shouldn't be protected. A few short reasons why your data deserves to be protected include:
In the digitally driven world we live in, many individuals feel like they have less and less control over their personal data. When most of us log into a new device or install an app, we’re greeted by a flurry of notifications asking for permission to our data. Most consumers are desensitized to this and click allow on everything without giving a second thought. Part of DPD is recognizing that we don’t have to sign off on our personal information and should instead make informed decisions about whether we want certain apps or businesses accessing the amount of data that they do.
Nowadays, most apps on our devices can access a deceptively large amount of personal information including location, IP address, purchase history, contacts, etc.
A few tips that you can use to better control who has access to your information
According to a recent study, 79% of U.S adults say that they’re concerned about how their data is being accessed by corporations. With an overwhelming majority of the population concerned about this problem, businesses that respect privacy and take steps to protect consumer data stand to benefit from a trustworthy reputation and elevated consumer confidence.
This consumer mistrust is amplified by how shockingly common and publicized data breaches are in this day and age. A key part of DPD is recognizing that data privacy and security go hand in hand. One of the most simple yet overlooked tenets that all businesses should follow is, “if you collect it, protect it.” SMBs that deal with sensitive data are especially vulnerable to being targeted by hackers that are looking for cushy targets. They also stand to lose the most from data breaches as 60% of SMBs go out of business within six months of falling victim to a data breach or cyber attack.
If your business deals with any amount of consumer data, take necessary security measures to ensure that data is protected from both insider and outsider threats. This should also extend to the partners and vendors your business works with as their data breaches can tarnish your own reputation.
Another overlooked step that can go miles in inspiring consumer confidence is to simply be transparent about what you use customer information for and how you collect it.
Some other tips for SMBs include:
Through educating yourself on the importance of data privacy and security, you can ensure that your own data and that of your customers stays safe and secure online.