Data Privacy Day on January 28 is the little nudge we need at the beginning of each new year to make safeguarding our personal information a priority.
Although we live in an increasingly digital world, most of us give little thought to data privacy until after our personal data has been compromised. Our increased reliance on digital technologies to manage every facet of life necessitates the need to rethink what we share about ourselves, when and where we share it, and who we are sharing it with. Data Privacy Day is part of the global online safety, security, and privacy campaign called ‘STOP. THINK. CONNECT.’, — an initiative of the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).
As end-users on the technology spectrum, few among us pay attention to data privacy beyond knowing not to share our passwords with anyone. We trust software and data services providers to be the guardians of the personal data they collect and require from us in exchange for the right to use their products and services. But the personal information collected by companies today is not regarded as private by default, with few exceptions.
The unpleasant truth is that most people who have access to our personal data do not need it. These digital strangers with legitimate access to our personal data are the very people we should be preventing from accessing our personal information because they do not need it. Data Privacy Day is an important wake-up call for anyone who is ‘on the grid,’ meaning, they use any type of digital device for any reason and thinks having spam software and firewalls are keeping their data safe.
Data Privacy Day reminds us to treat personal information like money. It has value and we need to protect it as if our lives depended on it because sometimes they do.