25th of May 2018 will live long in the memory of some. This was the day that the new European Data Privacy regulations, known as GDPR, became enforceable. GDPR sets out to help better protect the privacy and data that companies hold about all of us.
Over the last year or so we have seen plenty of controversy surrounding data privacy. Take the Cambridge Analytical scandal or any of the many large data breaches that have happened recently. Why is this relevant today of all days? Well today, 28th January, is Data Privacy Day. A day for not only users to reflect on their own data privacy, but a day for all organisations to think again about how they protect your data. Every company has a target on their back. Cyber criminals are unscrupulous and care not who you are, only that you have data that might be valuable to them in some way. Companies need to take time to review their procedures, policies and infrastructure to ensure that the data they hold is secure and well protected.
As a user, what can you do to protect your data more? Firstly, think about what information you share on Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Make sure you understand the privacy settings and who can see posts that you make. Remember, once it has been posted online, there is no taking it back.
Secondly, be wary of using public WiFi networks. Just because it says that it is secure does not mean that someone else could be looking at your online activity. If you really need to use a public WiFi network, make sure you are using a VPN.
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. They help mask your online activity and can help protect your privacy. They are not just for people looking to hide what they are doing online, they are designed to stop others from using attacks such as Man in the Middle to protect your data.
Talking of protecting data, make sure that if you do save any information to USB devices, that you encrypt these USB devices. This is not a complicated procedure, for the most part all you need to do is make sure that the USB stick is password protected. That way, if your USB stick goes missing or is stolen, you limit the chance that someone will be able to extract any information from it.
Finally, make sure you are using unique and long passwords on all of your accounts. Reusing passwords across multiple sites is just asking for trouble. Can’t remember all those passwords? Don’t worry, use a password manager to help.
Happy data privacy day! Remember it is your data, it’s not just your responsibility to keep it safe but also the responsibility of those you give it too. - Gerry Grant, Chief Ethical Hacker For more information and advice, contact us on our website or email email@example.com