January 28th was National Data Privacy Day. Raising awareness is a fantastic practice, but we shouldn’t delegate our attention to privacy on just one day of the year.
How can you participate in making every day a privacy day?
Data security tips
Encryption might sound like an advanced, tech geek solution. It’s not. It’s a protective measure that’s necessary when sending sensitive information, to keep your cloud storage safe, and can even protect your entire operating system.
It turns your messages into a cipher that hackers can’t read unless they have the key to access it. This encryption key is exclusive to you and the other party you’re communicating with in your private conversation.
You can encrypt sensitive files—or even your entire hard drive if you so choose—with encryption software or open-source encryption platforms. However, remember than encryption is never a guaranteed solution, especially if your system is already infected with malware.
Only use secure websites
It’s pretty simple: is the URL “http” or “https”? The ‘s’ is for ‘secure’. When you enter websites that are missing this verified level of security, it’s like walking into a public place with your pockets turned inside out.
A website is only truly secure if it has an SSL (Security Sockets Layer) certificate, which is a piece of proof that tells search engines it’s safe for people to enter the site. If you see “Not secure” in the URL bar, it’s safer to leave.
Use spam filters for your emails
We’ve said before that phishing scams are a serious threat to your data. Emails are a popular and convenient medium for hackers to transmit malware and other scams in disguise as helpful content or attachments.
Spam filtering is a simple way to direct spam away from your main inbox and put junk mail in its place. Advanced spam filters can detect threats based on the content of an email, saving you the trouble (and serious risk) of testing your suspicions.
Know your rights
The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) outlines Canadian regulations on data privacy and how commercial organizations are allowed to share private information.
PIPEDA protects the personal private information of individuals and states that businesses are responsible for the privacy of the employee information that falls under their control. The Act also explains when it’s necessary to report data breaches, as well as rules on consent, accuracy and individual access to personal data.
Get cybersecurity protection
To equip yourself with the right knowledge and defences, a conversation with a cybersecurity expert will always be your best bet.
Don’t take your security for granted. Avoid data breaches before they do the damage. Let us know about your business and what you do and what your security looks like—we’re curious!