Data protection is important in the digital age.

Data Privacy Day emphasizes importance of secure data storage

Stephen Perkins

International Data Privacy Day is looming on the horizon and has taken on a special resonance in the wake of several highly public security breaches. Jan. 28 marks the commemorative day, which was designed to call attention to the importance of data protection in an age when everything's becoming digitized. 

Data Privacy Day is an outgrowth of Data Protection Day, which was launched in 1981 to call attention to the issue of securing sensitivedata, reported the National Cyber Security Alliance, which coordinates the event. According to a report from the NCSA, last year's Privacy Day featured several initiatives, including awareness campaigns from corporations like Google and Facebook and a big kick-off event in Washington, D.C. This year's event is directing special attention to the notion of online citizenship – the idea that we must be especially conscious of how we protect our data because so much of it is online, the NCSA site reported.

For businesses, securing and backing up data is particularly important because much of that data can include privileged customer information like credit cards. Therefore, businesses are a big focus of Privacy Day. In advance of Jan. 28, the NCSA provided some tips for businesses to ensure their data remains suitably guarded. Some of those tips include:

  • Deleting suspicious emails - Cybercriminals can often infect computers through malicious spam links sent to email addresses, the NCSA reported. Carefully reviewing emails could prevent you from clicking on a malicious link that crash your system and puts you in need of a disaster recovery service.
  • Strengthening passwords - It's certainly tempting to have that one-size-fits-all password that you use across the board, but if you're part of a business, that could make your system more vulnerable to attack. Come up with unique passwords to prevent an easy infiltration. And on that note, make the passwords complex – the more random numbers and punctuation signs, the better.

According to a release from the CIOL Bureau, Privacy Day will be celebrated in countries ranging from the U.S. all the way to Japan.

Recent breaches illuminate importance of protection
This year's Privacy Day comes off the heels of several high-profile privacy breaches that have served as unpleasant reminders that security cannot be taken for granted in the digital age. First, there was Edward Snowden's June release of NSA documents that revealed the agency's widespread surveillance program. At least one of Privacy Day's public events – a lecture by privacy expert Robert Ellis Smith – will focus on the NSA breaches and their implications. More recently, there was the breach of several major retailers' security systems, resulting in the theft of millions of peoples' credit card information. The revelation that most of the retail breaches had been carried out with malware created by a Russian teenager only affirmed that data can easily fall victim to attack if it's not properly guarded.

These and other security breaches emphasize the need for data protection measures that ensure all valuable information stays safe.

Categories: Data Protection, Disaster Recovery