Today is Data Privacy Day!

This year the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is encouraging people to “Own Your Privacy” by learning more about how to protect your valuable data online, and encouraging businesses to “Respect Privacy”, which advocates for holding organizations responsible for keeping individuals’ personal information safe from unauthorized access and ensuring fair, relevant and legitimate data collection and processing.

Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebrated in Europe. Data Protection Day was established to commemorate the Jan. 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. On Jan. 27, 2014, the 113th U.S. Congress adopted S. Res. 337, a non-binding resolution expressing support for the designation of January 28 as “National Data Privacy Day.” This is a global effort to generates awareness about the importance of privacy and highlights simple ways to protect personal information.

Own Your Privacy

There are steps you can take to learn about the data you’re generating online, and how it’s collected, shared and used. Follow these basic privacy tips to help you better manage your personal information and make informed decisions about who receives your data.

Protect It

Your personal data may not seem valuable but when it is collected over time and aggregated it can start to provide more detailed and personal information about you than you realize. You should protect your data the way you protect any sensitive information. Your search history, IP address, or location, or purchase history There are many times it makes sense to share your data, but be sure you are making informed decisions about whether or not to share your data by considering the amount of personal information requested, and weighing it against the benefits you may receive in return.

Keep Track

Many apps ask for access to personal information, such as your geographic location, contacts list and photo album, before you have even used their services. Be thoughtful about who gets that information, and wary of apps that require access to information that is not required or relevant for the services they are offering. Delete unused apps on your internet-connect devices and keep others secure by performing updates.

Stay in Control

Check the privacy and security settings on web services and apps and set them to your comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application, or browser that you use will have different features to limit how and with whom you share information. You can use “Incognito Mode” windows on most browsers when you don’t want your information to be stored. Get started with NCSA’s Manage Your Privacy Settings page:

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