If you’re a business, are you aware of the growing consumer concern regarding data handling and protection? Data Privacy Day, a national holiday established to spread awareness and educate consumers and businesses, is the perfect time to reflect on what you’re doing to protect your data.
People are more willing to share data and deal with businesses that are transparent about how they’re using personal information. 70% of consumers would stop doing business with a company if it didn’t adequately protect their data. But just 27% feel that businesses take their data security seriously.
Having a strong corporate policy of data protection and privacy can give you an edge in today’s competitive market. Protecting your customer’s data also helps build trust, maintains a positive public image, and steers you clear of hefty fines from the government.
To help both consumers and businesses understand emerging privacy threats and stay protected, the U.S. Congress has designated January 28th as National Data Privacy Day. To celebrate, we’re going to show what you can do to get involved and bolster your data security.
Want to learn more about how lost, stolen, or leaked data can harm your business? Read our blog, What is Data Leakage and Why Should You Care? to see how to keep your data secure.
How to Get Involved in Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day is aimed at educating both consumers and businesses on data collection awareness and data protection protocols. In keeping with the spirit of the day, below are some good ways you can bring data privacy to the forefront in all aspects of your life:
1. Protect Your Business and Professional Data
If your business collects data, it’s a good idea to employ reasonable security to keep consumers’ private information safe from unauthorized access. Not only does this help build trust between you and your customers, but it’s also required by many data privacy laws like HIPAA, CCPA, and the FTC act. Be transparent about how you collect, use, and share data, and use proper security protocols and systems to keep it safe.
Finally, help your employees protect their privacy by hosting educational events directed at helping them manage their personal data safely. Maintaining awareness and understanding of what they can do to protect data will help keep both your business’ and customers’ data safer. Building this culture of data security makes for a more secure business across departments, locations, and teams.
Education is everything when it comes to cybersecurity. It’s the difference between knowing about phishing tactics and clicking on a malicious link that leads to a major breach. It’s one of the reasons we at Impact provide security awareness training to our clients. People, when made aware and kept up on security trends and best practices, can be the strongest layer of security for businesses.
2. Stay Safe at Home
Individual consumers can safeguard their own data by being careful about the information posted about themselves online by:
- Keeping privacy and security settings updated on apps and websites to control who has access to your information.
- Watching what private or personal information they post on social media.
- Being aware of what data they willingly give companies.
- Understanding their rights as to controlling how organizations use their data.
- Protecting their accounts with access management controls like multi-factor authentication (MFA), biometrics, and strong passwords.
3. Inform and Protect Your Community
Though awareness and engagement of data privacy are increasing overall, it’s still important to spread the word. The more knowledgeable people are about the importance of handling data—whether their own or a customer’s—the less likely your organization is to run into issues. Businesses and individuals can increase their knowledge of data privacy in your community by helping others understand it.
Help educate companies and individuals where you live about privacy concerns and how to be more privacy-aware.
7 out of 10 Americans say they are taking measures to protect their online privacy more today than they were a year ago. However, only 50% are looking for new ways to safeguard their personal information
How Can You Better Protect Data Privacy?
Implement Best Practices at Home and Work
The smartest way to protect your data at both a personal and professional level is to adopt effective best practices.
At work, practicing good cyber hygiene, such as installing a network firewall, using next-generation antivirus software, encrypting data, using secure passwords with multi-factor authentication, and conducting regular backups are critical for data security.
For consumers, keeping control of their online presence, including being extra careful with sharing on social media, is critical for privacy protection.
Multi-factor authentication is a crucial security tool, as is a secure network. This is particularly true if you have a number of Internet of Things devices in your home or numerous devices connected to your network.
Learning about cyberattacks such as phishing can help you avoid clicking malicious links, and being aware of data collection techniques such as e-skimming can keep you vigilant when conducting Ecommerce.
Establish a Culture of Learning and Security
Finally, for businesses and consumers alike, knowledge is power—and establishing a safe digital environment to conduct business or access information is critical. Awareness of current cybercriminals’ tactics can help you avoid clicking on malicious links, downloading viruses, or accidentally leaking private information.
For businesses, people are often your first line of defense. Hackers often try to steal credentials and infiltrate your network using social engineering tactics. Having an educated workforce helps people understand risks and what attacks might look like.
Cybersecurity is a layered game. To stay secure against modern threats, you need multiple systems in place. These act as fail-safe if one or more layers are penetrated.
One of your strongest layers is your people. It’s an unbeatable layer if they’re educated, trained, and cyber-smart. That only comes from a company culture of education and security.
Next Steps to Protect Your Data
Data Privacy Day is a chance to enhance your data security. Step back and take a look at the safeguards you have in place now and ask questions. Do you know enough about how your data is collected and secured? Are you doing what you need to protect your customer’s data? Implement the best practices listed above to keep your data private—and safe.
Customers expect businesses to have a strong compliance policy to safeguard their data. If you’re concerned about your organization’s data policy or compliance, we have resources to help you better understand it. Learn more about data leaks, how they can negatively affect your business, and how to stop them in our blog, What is Data Leakage and Why Should You Care?