Data Privacy Day 2021—5 Simple Steps to Increase Your Data Privacy
Data Privacy Day is about respect for your privacy. It's easier than you think to reclaim control.
Data privacy refers to the human right to have autonomy over how personal information is collected and used in various contexts.
Privacy has been a hot topic for centuries, with the first known use of the word dating back to the 15th century. Did you know that leaders across the world recognize your right to privacy? The protection of the fundamental right of privacy present in documents such as the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights," in which the 12th fundamental right is the Right to Privacy.
However, in recent years the concept of privacy has become more nuanced and expanded to include various subsets such as data privacy. Data privacy is about being intentional about using the internet and staying aware of how the services you use affect whether your data is shared and collected. Awareness of data privacy ensures that you are participating in a digital society in a way that makes you feel the most comfortable.
What's Data Privacy Day?
International Data Privacy Day was initiated by the Council of Europe in 2007 in order to raise awareness among internet users about the significance of protecting their personal information online, especially as social network usage continues to trend upwards.
Recent rearch continues to shows public interest in data privacy. Nine in ten Americans view privacy as a human right. Ninety-three percent of people said they would switch to a company that prioritizes privacy.
It's easier than you think to increase your data privacy, when you focus on a few things that make the biggest impact. Here's five simple steps you can take. With Data Privacy Day around the corner, your timing couldn't be better!
1. Switch to a privacy-first email provider
Email holds many details of your online life, and it should be for your eyes only. Consider a privacy-friendly email service that puts you and your personal information first. Free email accounts are paid with your privacy, so make sure that advertisers aren't paying those companies for insights on you.
If you're a Fastmail customer, you already know it's a meaningful step. But do your friends and family? Share your knowledge and values on using the internet. People in your life will appreciate it, and probably already look to you for technology advice!
2. Find a privacy alternative for searching the web
To integrate privacy-first tools into your daily life, consider the tools you use most. Along with email, your search engine is something you probably use multiple times each day. A privacy first search engine, like DuckDuckGo, can make a huge difference in your autonomy over whether the information you share is collected online.
If this sounds like a lot, let me remind you that you don't have to do it all in one go. Pick one area and start using a new alternative a couple of times. You'll learn more about what works best for you, and overtime, new behaviors will become the norm. Every step you take is a worthwhile improvement toward better privacy habits.
3. Use a password manager
For the best privacy and security, it is important to have a strong and unique password for every account. Password managers, like 1Password, generate and save passwords in one place so that you can use complex passwords with ease.
4. Two-step verification adds another layer of protection
Install an authenticator app on your phone and set up two-step verification (also known as two-factor authentication or 2FA) for your most important online accounts, like your email and your bank.
5. Check to see if your password has been compromised
Sign up for notifications from haveibeenpwned.com, which will tell you if your email address has shown up in a data leak.
You'll also be alerted to the type of information published in the breach, like your password.
Share what you know to help others
Once you're comfortable with your process, talk to those around you. Tell others what you do to protect yourself or share this article with a friend.
You can also spread awarness by participating in International Data Privacy Day, which is every year on January 28th. The National Cyber Security Alliance has a few tips for how you can get involved.
By sharing what you know, you can help demystify the technology, make it the norm to understand why privacy and security matters, and help others to protect themselves.
Happy Data Privacy Day!
Better digital privacy doesn't require perfection. It takes thoughtful steps that matter. On this day, we hope you take a moment to feel good about the extra care and consideration you give to your data privacy. From learning more to taking the steps above, we're proud of you!