Data Privacy Day 2024: Yorkshire expert reveals four simple tips for protecting your information online

As a data protection consultancy, we get quite excited around Data Privacy Day which this year is on January 28. It’s a chance for us to underscore the importance of safeguarding personal information.

It also serves as the perfect opportunity for businesses to educate their employees, partners, and customers about the measures they can take to ensure the security of sensitive data and keep their data relatively private.

The overarching goal of Data Privacy Day is to amplify awareness about data protection and privacy both within the workplace but also, enlighten individuals about their rights and empower them to exercise them effectively.

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For businesses, this day offers a unique chance to enhance internal awareness regarding the meticulous steps taken to process personal data securely. It's an ideal time to conduct workshops, sharing best practices for preserving individual privacy. Organisations can also leverage the occasion to showcase the commendable efforts of their own privacy teams to promote transparency and trust with their customers.

Philip Brining shares his expert advicePhilip Brining shares his expert advice
Philip Brining shares his expert advice

However, the burden of responsibility doesn't solely lie with the numerous organisations we entrust with our data. In reality, individuals can actively contribute to taking control of their online privacy. There are a few very simple practices we can all take to make sure our data stays as safe as possible online.

Clearing those cookie crumbs: While accepting cookies on various sites might seem harmless, regularly clearing them from your browser is a simple yet effective way to remove information stored on your device. Beyond the annoyance of targeted ads, cookies can pose a security risk if exploited by hackers as recently reported in the press.

Password management: The era of straightforward passwords is a thing of the past. A glance at an active social media user’s page can allow people to make educated guesses about your passwords or security questions. Enhance your security measures by employing more complicated passwords that incorporate a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. If the prospect of remembering these complex passwords seems daunting, consider utilising a reputable password manager. Where possible, utilise multi-factor authentication. It is there to protect your account. And finally on passwords, always change the default passwords on any equipment you obtain. The complex-looking code on the bottom of your home WiFi router may seem strong to you, but it may be the same for every device produced by the manufacturer!

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Know Your Rights: Ensure you understand the privacy laws that apply to the country you currently live in, as they frequently allow individuals rights over the use and management of their personal data. These rights may encompass requesting a comprehensive record of your data held by businesses and, in some cases, even the ability to request its deletion.

Discover Privacy-Enhanced Browsers: Opting for an internet browser equipped with integrated privacy features can help you streamline your online privacy. Popular browsers are actively phasing out third-party cookies; for instance, Google recently announced its plans to eliminate cookies for all Chrome users by the end of 2024. Additionally, these browsers are implementing default privacy settings to augment user security.

Data Privacy Day acts as a poignant reminder that both businesses and individuals can actively participate in the continuous endeavours to safeguard and improve digital privacy practices.

Philip Brining is Director of Data Protection People

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