The International Data Privacy & Protection Day, Known in Europe as Data Protection Day, it’s commemorated every Jan 28. Its purpose is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. On this day, governments, parliaments, data protection entities, and businesses perform activities to generate awareness on the rights to data protection and privacy, the importance of personal and private data, and therefore its security. Jan 28 was selected because on that day, the Council of Europe’s data protection convention, known as “Convention 108”, was opened for signature. “Convention 108” is a European convention established in 1981 that protects individuals’ right to privacy, taking into account the increasing flow across frontiers of personal data undergoing automatic processing.
International Data Privacy & Protection Day is currently celebrated in the United States, Canada, Israel, the Council of Europe states, Argentina, Mexico, and Uruguay.
The General Data Protection Regulation
Consequently, in 2018, the GDPR was implemented, furthering the privacy protection efforts the EU and other countries are undertaking. The European General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is a regulation in the EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area. The GDPR is an essential component of the EU privacy law and human rights law, particularly in the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Although being an EU law, it also addresses the transfer of personal information of EU citizens outside the EU and EEA area.
If you want a deeper take on the matter you can find it in the renowned Themekraft Magazine here, an article released on 2020 about the GDPR and other related subjects.
Why is data protection so important
When personal data is the new oil, and when the line between offline and online life is thinner than ever and only gets more undistinguishable, data privacy protection is paramount in every individual’s personal, business, and labor life.
Most people don’t know, but the risk they are vulnerable to can be very harmful at worst and very intimate violations at the best when we deal with personal digital information. Software like email providers, websites, e-commerce, and social networks capture, process, and compilates our data every day, many times without our explicit and informed consent, only to be sold the very next day to a company to either create a customized experience or directly selling you products and services.
The information these digital entities capture from you can vary from very unsubstantial like device or browser used to perform specific actions online to place of residence and work, schedule, or even sexual preferences. Now, as they say in the marketing industry, raw data is not very useful or harmful by itself. Although, crossed and processed data can give a level of insight that allows companies to get to know people better than their spouses or friends, which is very dangerous.
Of course, with data protection, we also mean credit cards data, emails passwords, private and business financial data, and all the “classic” concepts of personal data.
“We have to be conscious about digital privacy. Many people are not aware of the risks they we on an everyday basis, and we end up being a product on the net.” Guillermo Figueroa, SEO Scalater.
What can you do
You may be wondering, what can I do to protect myself? And this wouldn’t be a Scalater article if we wouldn’t give some practical tips to protect your data when using your online avatar.
- One of the most common ways to capture personal information is through social network quizzes like apps. These questionnaires, minigames, and quizzes are designed to capture the data of users to be used elsewhere outside the app.
- Don’t use insecure and public WiFi connections when banking, shopping, or login into some app online.
- Use virus protection and firewalls when downloading files or surfing the web. Always check your bank account statements to detect changes you didn’t provoke. If this happens, immediately contact your financial organization.
- When using a new device, always star for the privacy settings. This incorporates new programs, apps, and social media.
- Constantly update your software, mainly if it contains sensitive information, as outdated software is vulnerable to breaches.
- Use strong passwords. Use caps, numbers, and signs, so the longer and mixed, the stronger the password is and thus harder to break.
- If saving passwords into an online keychain or vault, make sure the business is formal and secure, and always follow the security recommendation the app gives you.
- Never submit personal information over text, phone, or email.
- If your business uses SaaS service, make sure the security systems comply with the latest regulations and have a protocol for breaches and malfunctions.
- This should be public and easily findable. If you want to know more tips, you can check this web: https://staysafeonline.org/, a web committed to educating and empowering the global digital society in cybersecurity matters.
An interesting case of massive capture of information for devious purposes is the Cambridge Analytica issue. A company that captured data to use in the USA 2016 presidential election resulted in the election of ex-president Donald Trump. Read everything about it here: Cambridge Analytica and Facebook: The Scandal and the Fallout So Far.
Personal data have always been important, and the digital world is no different. Personal data is precious, and as such, you shouldn’t hand it so quickly and recklessly. Busines will do anything to acquire this information, and you can trade with it, but make sure you always do it informed and with expressed consent.
Finally, we advise everyone to consult and read their local security and personal data legislation. Hence, you become an emissary of good practices by exercising them and by reporting malicious business practices you might witness.
If you want to keep reading interesting articles, you can check our piece about: “Websites and Businesses don’t have holidays“