Millions of people are unaware of and uninformed about how their personal information is being used, collected or shared in our digital society. Data Privacy Day is a time to inspire dialogue and empower individuals and companies to take action.  It is a great opportunity to take back control on your personal data and create a culture of privacy at home and at work.

Here are three actions you can take today:

Protect your personal information as if it was money.

One of the most common misconceptions that individuals and small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) have regarding their personal information is that non-financial data has no value. It is a misconception that only financial information like payment card numbers or bank accounts has monetary value to data thieves. This leads to one of the most common growing concerns called credential stuffing.

The theft of email addresses and passwords from businesses of all sizes fuels credential stuffing attacks where criminals use automated systems to attempt to access accounts at a business using the stolen information. Why? Because up to 83 percent of individuals use the same password and email for more than one account.

Action item: Keep track of your account credentials in a secure platform – not in a note on your phone or desk. Make sure all passwords are unique and make appropriate changes if they are not.

Limit the information being collected on you.

Unless you trust a site, don’t give your address, password, or credit card information. Look for indications that the site uses SSL to encrypt your information. If it seems suspicious, leave the site. Although some sites may require you to supply your social security number (e.g., sites associated with financial transactions), be especially wary of providing this information online.

Action item: To view or change your privacy/security settings, this link will give you a list of direct links to update your privacy settings on popular devices and online services https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/managing-your-privacy/manage-privacy-settings/

Always be conscious of any emails asking you to click, download, or reply.

This message may seem like an overplayed commercial but one that should always be at top of mind. While using cookies may be one method for gathering information, the easiest way for attackers to get access to personal information is to ask for it. By representing a malicious site as a legitimate one, attackers may be able to convince you to give them your address, credit card information, social security number, or other personal data.

Action item: The best way to stay cyber secure is to create a cybersecurity culture with regular reminders of malicious threats. We recommend you try our one time phishing test to put your team to the test. https://kybersecure.com/phishing-test/

Data Privacy Day comes around once a year but protecting your data and minimizing your risk should always be top of mind.