As we near the end of January, Data Privacy Day is looming on the horizon once again. Since 2007, Jan 28th has been a day devoted to raising awareness on protecting information online amongst businesses and users. Is it marked on your calendar? Or is this the first you have heard of it? Today we look at this international event in more detail.

Data protection is crucial

As digital transformation continues to sweep into every corner of the globe, protecting personal data and privacy has become ever more important. This annual event is designed then to encourage individuals and organisations to take steps to safeguard their personal information. Further below, we list a handful of measures you can take right now in this endeavour. The event itself is promoted by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) in the United States. It is supported by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in the UK and by similar organisations in other countries.

Also known as ‘Data Protection Day’, the original scope was purely aimed at businesses. The day was first celebrated almost 16 years ago as the ‘European Data Protection Day’. The United States then recognised it from 2009 onwards but as the years went by, the scope clearly had to change. Quite simply, internet use grew exponentially and began to include families, consumers, and more. Indeed, parents nowadays are encouraged to educate their children on how to act online in a safe manner, such has been the continued growth of new and younger users.

Social networking

There has typically been a focus upon the context of social networking. This too has grown in line with our use of social media platforms such as Facebook and now TikTok. As you read this article, consider for a moment when your most recent interaction was with your mobile phone. Was it to send a message via WhatsApp? Or perhaps it was to scan your Instagram feed? There is no getting away from it; most of us use ‘social’ regularly. On that note, it is important to:

  • Be mindful of the information you share on social media
  • Try to limit the amount of personal information you post online
  • Never give out personal information to unsolicited phone calls, emails, or text messages

Follow these tips and you will take significant steps closer to being safe online. Of course, there are many other steps you can take in the pursuit of protecting your data.

Safeguarding your personal information

There are several ways to safeguard your personal information, including:

  • The adoption of strong and unique passwords for all accounts
  • Keeping all devices and computers updated with the latest security patches and software
  • Using caution with links or attachments delivered via emails or text messages
  • Deploying 2-Factor Authentication / Multi-Factor Authentication (2FA / MFA) when available*
  • Implementing a reputable anti-virus programme and keeping it updated to protect against malware

So there you have it, Data Privacy Day 2023 in a nutshell. It is a day for being vocal about data protection, for ensuring you are doing all you can to secure your personal information. You can also help others out by making sure they know what to do, and if you are an organisation in need of assistance? Then give the experts at CRIBB Cyber Security a call!

*At the time of writing, a new trend had literally just come to our attention: MFA Fatigue attacks. You can read more about defending against MFA Fatigue attacks in this Microsoft article.