Recognizing Data Privacy Day

Posted on: January 28, 2019 | By: Tarah Holland | Filed under: Data & Identity, Info Security

How many times have you started an online account and took the time to read through the privacy settings? If not, do you really know how your personal information is used, collected or shared through your favorite apps and online platforms?

Data Privacy Day aims to change how all users think about privacy and protection.

Observed internationally on January 28, Data Privacy Day began in the United States in 2008 to increase awareness of privacy and data protection best practices for individuals and companies. An extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe, the annual observation commemorates the Jan. 28, 1981 signing of Convention 108 – the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), which leads the U.S. campaign.

Among its efforts to encourage cybersecurity, the NCSA offers Stay Safe Online to educate users about the importance of safe internet browsing, fraud, accounts and privacy. The online resource features a number of tips for users to consider when surfing the web, including those highlighted below.

Data Privacy & Protection Tips

  • Secure your devices with strong passwords, passcodes or touch ID features to help protect your information if your devices are lost or stolen.
  • Be thoughtful about who gets information about you and how it’s collected through the apps you download.
  • Disable WiFi and Bluetooth when not in use as some stores and other locations look for devices within range to track user movements.
  • Public wireless networks and hotspots are not secure, which means that anyone could potentially see what you are doing on your mobile device while you are connected. Limit what you do on public WiFi and avoid logging in to key accounts, like email and financial services, on these networks. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot if you need a more secure connection on the go.
  • Keep your mobile phone and apps up to date. Your mobile devices are just as vulnerable as your PC or laptop. Having the most up-to-date security software, web browser, operating system and apps is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.
  • It’s a good security practice to delete any apps you no longer use, including those downloaded for specific purposes that you no longer need or previously downloaded apps that are no longer useful or interesting.

Manage Your Privacy Settings

When did you last review the privacy settings on your go-to internet browser or favorite social media channels? On this Data Privacy Day, take some time to update the privacy settings on at least one of your online accounts.







Firefox private browsing

Safari private browsing for apple devices

For more insight on managing your privacy settings, best practices and other information, visit the NCSA.

Did You Know?

On Jan. 27, 2014, the 113th U.S. Congress adopted S. Res. 337, a non-binding resolution expressing support for the designation of Jan. 28 as “National Data Privacy Day.”


Tarah Holland

Tarah Holland is a Digital Content Strategist at Elon University.

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