Mark Data Privacy Day by locking down your online life

Mark Data Privacy Day by locking down your online life

Mark Data Privacy Day by locking down your online life

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Yes, Data Privacy Day is an entirely made-up event, but it’s a great time to take a hard look at your online life and step up your efforts to protect your digital privacy.

The annual occasion, celebrated by cybersecurity and digital privacy enthusiasts around the world, just happens to be Saturday. It began in the United States and Canada in 2008. It is an extension of a European commemoration marking Convention 108 of 1981, the first legally binding international treaty on privacy and data protection.

It’s a reminder to take stock of where your personal data is and who has access to it. Keeping tabs on this data is especially important these days given the continued shift to hybrid work setups for many people, pushing them online more than ever and further blurring the line between work and home.

Ahead of this year’s Data Privacy Day, Apple released a humorous video featuring Nick Mohammed, better known as Nate from the popular Apple TV Plus series Ted Lasso. promote ways in which its users can enhance their digital privacy. The company also announced that it would start running free courses in its stores focused on iPhone privacy features.

No matter what type of device you use, a few simple steps, such as setting good passwords for each of your accounts and enabling two-factor authentication whenever possible, can go a long way. enhance security, said Chester Wisniewski, director of field technology for applied research at security firm Sophos.

It’s also important to remember that protecting your data and privacy means not only protecting your information from cybercriminals, but also ensuring that you don’t share more than necessary with tech giants and other data collectors. .

That includes limiting what you post on social media, said Justin Fier, senior vice president of red team operations for cybersecurity firm Darktrace.

“It got so out of hand, this sharing of information about ourselves,” Fier said. “It’s good to still have a bit of mystery about yourselves and to have some privacy.”

Here are some easy ways to protect your data and privacy.

Set good passwords. Long, random, unique passwords are best. Don’t be tempted to recycle an old one, even if it’s great. Yes, it can be a lot to manage. This is where password managers come in. They will remember it for you.

From there, you can take a largely hands-off approach. Gone are the days when security experts recommended changing them every 90 days, Wisniewski said. Now the focus is on length. Unless they are compromised, you can largely set them and forget them.

Enable two-factor authentication. This technique requires entering a second identifier, such as biometrics, app notification, or physical key, in addition to your password. This will go a long way to protecting you if your password is compromised.

Note: Avoid using SMS messages for two-factor authentication. Why? SIM swapping, in which cybercriminals steal your phone number by calling your wireless service provider and having them change your number to a new phone and SIM card. This happens, and if criminals steal your phone number, they will also receive this text message.

Keep an eye on your accounts. Monitor your bank and credit accounts for potentially fraudulent charges. If you don’t expect to apply for credit anytime soon, freeze your credit reports. If a company offers you free credit monitoring because of a data breach or any other reason, sign up, Fier said.

Lock your social media accounts. Make sure the only “friends” you share your information with are your real friends. Even then, be careful what you divulge, especially when it comes to social media quizzes and other games. Seemingly innocuous information like the make and model of your first car or the elementary school you attended could be used to crack your passwords later, as these facts are often used in security checks.

Audit your connections and applications. Using Facebook or Google to automatically log into your apps and websites gives them access to more of your data. Think twice before doing so. You no longer use an application? Delete it and remove its access to the data you agreed to share when you first downloaded it.

Update everything. This doesn’t just apply to your operating systems and anti-virus software. Your router, apps, and all those “Internet of Things” devices also need to be up to date. Patches to fix bugs and security issues cannot help you if you don’t install them. If you don’t know how to update your router, call your ISP or check online.


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