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Building Trust 28 January 2020

This Data Privacy Day It’s the Little Things That Count

April Froncek
By April FroncekSenior Editor, Content

Today we’re celebrating Data Privacy Day, which is all about empowering people and organizations to respect privacy, safeguard data, and enable trust.

Let’s face it, protecting your privacy can feel overwhelming. It can seem like we conduct our entire lives online and it’s hard not to notice headlines about our privacy being undermined, like law enforcement trying to gain access to encrypted data. But whether you know it or not, you’re making choices about what you share and how you share it each day. These seemingly-small actions can make a big impact.

You might already be doing some of these, but here are six actions you can take to protect your privacy:

  • Use end-to-end encrypted messaging apps. Switch to using messaging apps that offer end-to-end encryption, such as WhatsApp, Signal, Threema, and Telegram. Some are better than others, so make sure to read the reviews.
  • Turn on encryption on your devices or services. Some devices or services will offer encryption, but not set it as the default. Make sure to turn on encryption.
  • Use strong passwords. Do not just use a default password, a simple guessable password, or a password that uses personal information, such as your pet’s name. No matter how strongly your device or application is encrypted, if someone can figure out your password – they can access your data.
  • Keep up with updates. No system is perfectly secure. Security vulnerabilities are always being discovered and fixed with updates. That’s why it is so important to keep up with updates to your applications, devices and services. The update could be fixing a vulnerability and making you safer!
  • Turn on two-factor log-in (2FA). Two-factor log-in adds another factor (like a bank security fob) to your usual log-in process (e.g. a username and password). Adding another factor makes it even harder for criminals to access your data.
  • Turn on erase-data options. Some smartphones and services have an option that will erase your data after 3 or 10 failed attempts. Turn this on to protect yourself from thieves or if you lose your phone.

This Data Privacy Day, join the global community of people who are taking steps to secure our data. Your small actions can make a big difference!


Image by Vlad Tchompalov via Unsplash

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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