Today is Data Privacy Day! The United States and Canada are among the many countries that celebrate Data Privacy Day. It began in the United States, but the need to safeguard data and enable privacy is an international effort. The point is to raise awareness about the technological impact on our personal information. It is also for understanding why and how you should keep data private. Both individuals and companies can learn from Data Privacy Day.
There was not always a need for Data Privacy Day. But in today’s world, we all use social media and technology. Sharing information on the web is the new norm.
People are sharing more information than they know. Millions of people are unaware of how much is being collected and used. Have you ever saved your credit card information to your computer for purchases? If so, you should probably be using a credit monitoring tool.
You might be wondering, how exactly did this happen? Big corporations get away with abusing personal information through agreements. These agreements are too tricky for the average person to understand.
Instead of reading the agreement or seeking legal advice, most check the agree box. Doing so is much easier, especially when you need to use the technology now. We are all guilty of it!
These signed agreements are what allow big corporations to abuse personal data. For this reason, it is critical to protect personal data. Knowledge is power. In the wrong hands, it can be harmful to you.
Many people need to use technology to work or stay connected. Cutting out technology is not an option for many. Individuals can become empowered by learning more about personal data protection.
Corporations can also learn about personal data protection. This is what Data Privacy Day is about. Becoming informed allows everyone to make educated decisions with personal data usage.
Take a minute to inform yourself about data privacy below! You can also learn more here.
What is Personal Identifiable Information (PII)?
Personal identifiable information (PII) is any information that identifies you as an individual. This includes your email, address, phone number and name.
What Types of Industries Are Known for Personal Data Abuse?
The following industries are commonly known for personal data abuse:
- Financial services
- Social networking
- Online marketplaces
These industries are dangerous because they often ask for personal information. Something as simple as your phone number, address, email or name can cost you. When corporations or individuals have one piece of information, they can gather more.
Once you give up the information, you will never get it back. Be cautious of who you give personal information to, even when it seems harmless!
How Could My Personal Information Harm Me?
One or more of the following could happen when someone has your personal information:
- Shared with a third party through a sale
- You could receive spam mail or email to sell products or services to you
- You could receive phishing emails
- You could receive vishing (voice phishing) phone calls
Phishing and vishing are particularly dangerous. They are attempts to scam or commit fraud. People send them with the intention of stealing money or committing identity theft. They are also very annoying to delete!
Why is Data Privacy Important to Corporations?
It is obvious why data privacy is essential for individuals. But why is it important for corporations? They are the ones benefiting from the data. Not always true.
Below are the reasons why data privacy is essential for corporations:
- To comply with data protection regulations (for example, General Data Protection, GDPR, compliance)
- To protect confidential corporate information from data breaches
- Practice ethics and respect, individuals favour companies that respect their data
- Promote trust with the general public, investors and consumers
- Gain a competitive advantage
- Gain customer loyalty
What Can I Do to Protect My Personal Information?
Your data is sensitive information. You have every right to control who gains access. It is not only a company’s responsibility to monitor personal data. It is your responsibility too.
Below are ways you can protect your personal information:
- Only give out personal information when necessary
- Question personal information requirements when they seem unreasonable
- Update your privacy settings on the technology you use
- Avoid using technology where possible
- Use passwords and keep them private
- Be wary of spam, scams and fraud
- Wipe personal information from old electronics you are disposing of
- Encrypt your information
- Use security software on electronics
- Be wary of public Wi-Fi and networks
Interested in More?
If data privacy is important to you, there are other ways to learn more. Below are other awareness events:
- Fraud Prevention Month is in March
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is in October
- International Fraud Awareness Week is in November
It is important to stay up to date on events and changes in the industry. Learn more about Data Privacy Day in Canada and other financial updates.