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Data Privacy Day, which takes place annually on January 28th, is a global effort to educate consumers and organizations about the importance of privacy, promote easy ways to protect personal information, and illustrate to organizations that good data privacy is good business.

Consumers are very concerned about how the companies they do business with are using their data, particularly since the pandemic forced everyone to shift a significant portion of their lives online. Over 80% of consumers told Pew Research that they feel the potential risks of companies collecting data about them outweigh the benefits.

Here are some quick tips for consumers to protect their data privacy online, and for organizations to be good stewards of the data they collect.

3 Quick Data Privacy Tips for Consumers

  1. Be cautious about handing over your personal information. Don’t give out personal information online unless you initiated the contact or otherwise know who you’re dealing with. Never click on email links soliciting personal information, and never download unknown email attachments. Go to the organization’s website and contact them directly.
  2. Be cautious about app permissions. Don’t just blindly click “accept” when installing apps; take a look at what the app is asking to access, and be wary of apps that ask for a lot of personal information.
  3. Secure your passwords. Securing your passwords is fundamental to securing your online privacy. Use strong, unique passwords for every online account and app, enable multi-factor authentication (2FA) on all accounts that support it, and use a password manager like Keeper. Keeper automatically generates unique, high-strength, random passwords for all your sites and apps and stores them in a personal, encrypted digital vault that you can access from any device, running any operating system.

3 Quick Data Privacy Tips for Businesses

    1. Know your data. Many organizations are storing an enormous amount of “dark data,” an ominous-sounding name for digital assets that they’re not using and that they may not even know exist. Perform an audit of your existing data stores so that you understand what you have, and dispose of any dark data that isn’t subject to compliance holds.
    2. Assess your data collection processes. Review your existing data collection practices and policies so that you have a thorough understanding of what personal information you’re collecting or processing. If you don’t need a piece of data for business or compliance purposes, don’t collect it. In addition to protecting consumer privacy, this protects your organization; cybercriminals can’t steal what you don’t have.
    3. Secure your employees’ passwords. Verizon estimates that over 80% of successful breaches are due to weak or compromised passwords, so the biggest thing you can do to secure your data is to secure your employees’ passwords. Mandate the use of strong, unique passwords, and 2FA.

Are you interested in learning more on how an MSP could help your organization stay safe? Give us a call at 678-389-6200 or visit mPoweredIT.com.

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