Data Privacy Day: What It Is, Its Importance, and What It Means for Your Information Security

Data Privacy Day is an international event that takes place on January 28 each year.

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Data Privacy Day: What It Is, Its Importance, and What It Means for Your Information Security
Highlights
  • Data Privacy Day falls on January 28 every year
  • Data Privacy Day is aimed at spreading awareness on user privacy
  • Users need to take control of their online privacy and data security

Data Privacy Day occurs on January 28 every year and is observed primarily in the United States, Canada, European Union, and Israel. However, over the last few years, other countries have also picked it up, amidst growing privacy concerns amongst its citizens. Data Privacy Day is also referred to as Data Protection Day in Europe. The core idea behind the international event is to promote awareness for privacy and data protection. Several organizations around the world attempt to raise awareness about user privacy and why it's so important for users.

What is Data Privacy Day?

Essentially, Data Privacy Day kicked off as an educational event to raise awareness among businesses to promote user privacy and protect users' data. In the last four years, the idea has expanded to include general users across all verticals. Data Privacy Day usually involves events and campaigns that aim to spread awareness about user privacy and data protection across multiple countries.

When is Data Privacy Day in 2020?

Data Privacy Day takes place on January 28 each year. The first time the international event took place was back in 2007 by the Council of Europe and it called the European Data Protection Day. Once it went international, it was referred to as Data Privacy Day.

What's so important about Data Privacy Day?

There's no doubt your privacy and your data are super important to you. But given our daily rituals of being involved with so many things, we somehow become unconcerned about the loss of privacy. With companies snooping your data every second during the day, you've got to take back at least some of the control.

Data Privacy Day is just an excuse to remind you how important your privacy is, irrespective of who you are and what you do. A decade ago, no one would have predicted how companies would end up basing their entire business models on user data. Every single click you make online, every single purchase you make online or offline, everything is being tracked.

But countries are now waking up, and so are users. It's time to take control of your privacy. Technology companies have started offering user-friendly privacy controls, users are actively participating in helping their administrations set up privacy laws.

Why should I care about my privacy and data protection?

Your privacy isn't just limited to technology companies snooping on your data. With growing cases of data thefts, cybercrime cases have been consistently increasing over the last decade. There's a growing need for healthy privacy policies that everyone must follow. If you fail to secure your data or privacy, you're at risk for identity thefts, phishing scams, or other risks.

Data Privacy Day 2020 - How can I keep my privacy online and secure my data?

While it's up to governments to maintain and enforce data protection laws, and companies to follow them, it's up to you to follow a basic set of dos and don'ts when it comes to securing your online privacy and data.

Here are a few basic tips to help you stay secure online:

1. Don't share too much personal data

Technology companies, websites, apps, and others always want your data. But you can choose not to share too much personal data on these apps and services. Basic personal data such as date of births, addresses, location, etc. can be easily used to steal your personal data or your identity. A lot of your financial products and services are tied to this type of data, which can be used by cybercriminals.

2. Refrain from saving credit card information online

While apps and services promise extreme levels of data security when it comes to saving your financial details on their platform, you should simply shy away from saving them. It would be a little more painful to add your credit card information every single time you make a purchase, but it'll be well worth it in the long term. While adding your credit card data could be safer on the platform, someone could gain access to your account and end up using those financial instruments.

3. Always pick strong passwords, duh!

This is very basic, but a lot of people simply go lazy when it comes to picking passwords. A majority of people are known to use the same password on almost all of their online accounts. While this is easy, it's also easier for hackers to break into your online accounts. There are several tools available that can help you pick a strong, complex password. You could use a password manager in case you're worried about losing passwords. But make sure you pick the right one.

4. Set the right privacy controls on apps and services

Various online apps and services, especially social networking sites and apps, let you control your privacy settings via a single dashboard. Make a habit to regularly keep these updated. This is where you can control who can see your personal information such as your phone numbers, family details, occupation, email addresses, and other details.

5. Keep your system, phone, and apps up to date

Here's something that needs a little more effort, but goes a long way in keeping you safe. Make a habit of keeping your computer, phone, and apps updated all the time. You can set up automatic updates if you find manually updating a little annoying. The apps and software you use on your smartphone or computer should also be regularly updated. It's also important that you do not install apps or software from unknown third-party providers.

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Further reading: Data Privacy Day, Privacy, Security
Harpreet Singh Harpreet is the community manager at Gadgets 360. He loves all things tech, and can be found hunting for good deals when he’s not shopping online. More
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