TechnologyIs Your Personal Data Secure?

Millions of people are unaware of and uninformed about how their personal information is being used, collected or shared in our digital society. Data Privacy Week aims to inspire dialogue and empower individuals and companies to take action.

In 2022, National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) is excited to expand the Data Privacy Day campaign into Data Privacy Week, January 24 – 28, a full week-long initiative. Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of Data Protection Day in Europe. Data Protection Day commemorates the Jan. 28, 1981 signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection.

Data Privacy Week helps spread awareness about online privacy and educates citizens on how to manage their personal information and keep it secure. Data Privacy Week also encourages businesses to respect data and be more transparent about how they collect and use customer data. To promote these goals, the National Cybersecurity Alliance will promote and encourage the following actions leading up to Data Privacy Week:

 

FOR INDIVIDUALS: KEEP IT PRIVATE

Everything you do online generates data. There are data about your activities, behaviors, and interests. There’s your personal data, like your social security and driver’s license numbers. And there’s data about the physical you, like health data. It’s easy to feel a lack of control over the information collected about you. However, there are steps you can take to learn about the types of data you’re generating online, and how it’s collected, shared and used.

Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with data privacy, and companies are realizing this and responding. We encourage consumers to be selective about who they choose to do business with and understand the value of their data.

Follow these steps to better manage your personal information and make informed decisions about who receives your data:

 

Steps to take:

Understand the privacy/convenience tradeoff

Many accounts ask for access to personal information, such as your geographic location, contacts list, and photo album, before you even use their services. This personal information has tremendous value to businesses and allows some to even offer you their services at little to no cost.

Make informed decisions about whether or not to share your data with certain businesses by considering the amount of personal information they are asking for, and weighing it against the benefits you may receive in return. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and wary of apps or services that require access to information that is not required or relevant for the services they are offering. Delete unused apps on your internet-connected devices and keep others secure by performing updates.

Manage your privacy

Once you have decided to use an app or set up a new account, check the privacy and security settings on web services and apps and set them to your comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application or browser you use will have different features to limit how and with whom you share information. Get started with NCA’s Manage Your Privacy Settings page to check the settings of social media accounts, retail stores, apps and more.

Protect your data

Data privacy and data security go hand in hand. Keep your data secure by creating long, unique passwords and storing them in a password manager. Add another layer of security by enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible, especially on accounts with sensitive information. MFA has been found to block 99.9% of automated attacks when enabled and can ensure your data is protected, even in the event of a data breach.

 

FOR ORGANIZATIONS: RESPECT PRIVACY

According to the Pew Research Center, 79% of U.S. adults report being concerned about the way their data is being used by companies. Respecting consumers’ privacy is a smart strategy for inspiring trust and enhancing reputation and growth in your business. Be open and honest about how you collect, use and share consumers’ personal information. Think about how the consumer may expect their data to be used and design settings to protect their information by default. Communicate clearly and concisely to the public what privacy means to your organization and the steps you take to achieve and maintain privacy.

 

Steps to take

Conduct an assessment

Conduct an assessment of your data collection practices. Whether you operate locally, nationally, or globally, understand which privacy laws and regulations apply to your business. Follow reasonable security measures to keep individuals’ personal information safe from inappropriate and unauthorized access and make sure the personal data you collect is processed in a fair manner and only collected for relevant and legitimate purposes.

Don’t forget to maintain oversight of partners and vendors as well. If someone provides services on your behalf, you are also responsible for how they collect and use your consumers’ personal information.

Adopt a privacy framework

Researching and adopting a privacy framework can help you manage risk and create a culture of privacy in your organization by building privacy into your business. Get started by checking out the following frameworks: NIST Privacy FrameworkAICPA Privacy Management FrameworkISO/IEC 27701 – International Standard for Privacy Information Management

Educate employees

Create a culture of privacy in your organization by educating your employees of their and your organization’s obligations to protecting personal information. Educate employees on your company’s privacy policy and teach new employees about their role in your privacy culture during the onboarding process. Engage staff by asking them to consider how privacy and data security applies to the work they do on a daily basis. Better security and privacy behaviors at home will translate to better security and privacy practices at work. Teach employees how to update their privacy and security settings on work and personal accounts. Learn more.

Finally, always confirm any suspicious written requests for your information by calling the IRS: 800-829-1040 . By following these basic tips, you have the potential of reducing the risk of becoming a victim of tax identity theft.

 

 

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal.  This material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. To the extent you are receiving investment advice from a separately registered independent investment advisor that is not an LPL affiliate, please note LPL makes no representation with respect to such entity. Securities and insurance offered through LPL or its affiliates are: 

Not Insured by FDIC/NCUA or Any Other Government Agency | Not Bank/Credit Union Guaranteed | Not Bank/Credit Union Deposits or Obligations | May Lose Value | Not Insured by FDIC/NCUA or Any Other Government Agency.

 

 

Source: 

“About Data Privacy Week.” Stay Safe Online, NortonLifeLock, 27 Dec. 2021, https://staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-week/about-dpw/.

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