Data Privacy Day: Ways to Lock Down Your Data in an Age of Rampant Leaks

Last updated: 2024/01/25
Cybersecurity3 minutes

Privacy of personal information is increasingly important as more aspects of everyday life move online and vast amounts of data are collected, stored and shared digitally. Data Privacy Day serves as a reminder to be more vigilant about how our data is handled.

Introduction of Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy Day was launched in January 2008 in the United States and Canada by the National Cyber Security Alliance. It is now recognized and celebrated in over 50 countries around the world. The goal of Data Privacy Day is to educate and engage people in discussions about privacy, provide resources for protecting personal information, and promote beneficial privacy practices. 

The severity of current Internet data leakage

Data breaches are also increasingly common. High-profile hacks against companies like Yahoo, Equifax, and Target have exposed sensitive information on millions of people. Health organizations, retailers, social platforms, and even governments have suffered major security failures. Hacked information may include names, birth dates, addresses, credit card numbers, and more.

Overall, the scale of data leaks and their potential impacts highlight why data privacy is such an important issue.  Protecting personal information is key to reducing fraud and identity theft threats.

How to protect data privacy?

Use Strong Passwords

Create complex and unique passwords for different accounts. Change them regularly and consider using a password manager to keep track of them.

Be Wary of Phishing Scams

Watch for suspicious emails, texts or calls asking for personal information. Do not click on unknown links or download attachments from suspicious emails or messages. These may be attempts to harvest your personal information or install malware. 

Limit Info Shared Online

Adjust privacy settings on social media platforms to control who can see your posts and personal information. Think twice before sharing details that could be used to impersonate you or guess your passwords.

Review Privacy Policies

Many apps, services and websites have privacy policies that detail how they collect, use and share your personal information. It's important to read these policies closely before signing up for a new service.

Be Cautious with Public Wi-Fi

Public WiFi networks at coffee shops, airports, hotels, and other places can be convenient, but they also come with risks. When you use public WiFi, your online activity and data can be more easily seen by hackers.  Avoid conducting sensitive transactions over public Wi-Fi networks.

Protecting Data Privacy with a VPN

A VPN is an essential tool for protecting your data privacy online. Here are some of the key ways a VPN enhances privacy:

  • Encrypts Your Internet Connection - VPNs encrypt all of the data sent between your device and the internet. This prevents hackers, ISPs, and governments from being able to access and read your data.
  • Hides Your IP Address - Your IP address can be used to identify your location and track your online activities. A VPN masks your IP address so that websites see the IP address of the VPN server instead of your device's actual IP address.
  • Prevents Throttling - ISPs often throttle or slow down connections to certain sites and services. A VPN prevents the ISP from seeing your activity and selectively throttling connections.


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