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Ivacy Champions Data Privacy Day 2021 | Best Tips To Stay Secure Online!

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Ivacy has been at the forefront of data privacy rights for internet users around the globe and has made sure the brand reflects this. Over the years, Ivacy VPN established itself as the go-to VPN for internet security and anonymity, all the while introducing new and innovative features for beginners and tech-savvy internet users alike. There is no better time to recognize these accomplishments than on Data Privacy Day 2021.

Ivacy is proud of its commitment to Data Privacy Day by registering as a Champion for the campaign. As a Champion, the cybersecurity company recognizes and supports the principle that all organizations share the responsibility of being conscientious stewards of personal information.

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What is Data Privacy Day?

Data Privacy Day being an international effort focuses on creating awareness about respecting everyone’s privacy, safeguarding data online, and enabling trust.

The Data Privacy Day campaign is officially led by the National Cyber Security Alliance and is advised by a distinguished committee of privacy professionals to ensure the campaign aligns with current privacy issues in a meaningful and thought-provoking way.

The reason why Data Privacy Day takes place on the 28th of January because it commemorates the signing of the very first legal international treaty for data protection and privacy.

As a cybersecurity company, Ivacy remains committed to a safer cyber-space and creating better awareness in that regard.

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The Need To Stay Secure Online In 2021

If a major retailer or a financial services website that you frequent, falls victim to a data breach, there’s not much to be done except changing passwords, getting cards, and altering all the other personal details. There’s not much to be done in such a scenario since it’s out of your hands, but then there are attacks you can defend against. For instance, ransomware and trojans don’t just have the potential to steal your data but destroy it beyond recovery.

Managing your Privacy Online

Your data can be used in numerous ways, sometimes in ways you would not approve or expect. This makes it important for you to understand the value of your private and confidential information and how to manage said information when possible. Keeping this in mind, here are some ways you can manage your privacy online.

1. Do your Homework

Before purchasing any internet-enabled device, it is important to do your homework. Start with product reviews and identify any privacy or security concerns. Also, determine what security features the device has to offers or lacks in the first place.

2. Take Control of your Online Presence

As soon as you power on your new device and sign up for a new account, make it a point to configure your privacy and security settings. By default, most devices opt for the least secure settings. For this reason, you will need to take your time to configure those settings to something you are comfortable with. If you do not need a feature, disable it, like location tracking. But do not stop there, check these settings regularly and adjust them if need be.

3. Keep your Device(s) Clean

For every device that you own, keep their OS and relevant software up-to-date. Doing something as simple as this will reduce the risk of infection from malware and ransomware. Configure your device(s) to notify you of new updates or set them to automatically update them to avoid any hassles.

4. Use Unique Passwords For Each Account

One of the most common methods of stealing information is to retrieve the username and password combinations from one source and then use the same to access other accounts as well. The only way to avoid this is to use a robust and unique password for every single account. You can use a free password generator and manager for that purpose.

5. Don’t Give Too Much Information

When completing your profile, it is not necessary to fill in all the information. Sometimes less is more which is why you should limit the information you upload online. If something is not required, do not give that information. Moreover, if a company requires you to provide information you are not comfortable providing, then perhaps it would be a good idea to reconsider creating an account wait that company in particular.

Managing your Kids’ Privacy Online

In today’s world, families must also think about the safety and security of their kids. While kids are taught the basics of safety and security like avoiding talking to strangers and looking both ways before crossing a street, they need to be taught about managing their safety and privacy online as well.

If not for your privacy and security, the internet safety of kids is of the utmost importance. Not a lot of people realize it is important to keep an eye out for their kids. The last thing you want is for them to be targeted for being naïve online.

Similar to how you need to educate yourself about bolstering your security online, you need to educate them about being smart regarding what content they view online and what websites they should and should not be visiting. To aid you in your cause, for you and your family, you should definitely use a VPN. Not only will it let you remain safe and secure online, but you can switch between VPN servers to access content online which normally would be limited due to geo-restrictions.

If you want your kids to be safe and secure online, here are a couple of tips worth considering.

1. Positively Engage your Kids

Take a keen interest in your kids’ activities online. Learn more about the online environments they are a part of. Just like the real world where there are good and bad neighborhoods, the same applies to the internet as well. Help your kids understand the difference between good and bad apps and websites. Additionally, advise them to be cautious about what content they upload, post, download, and click on.

2. Be Honest about Online Threats

Enough emphasis can not be placed on the fact you will need to be honest with your kids. Talk to them openly about online threats and why they need to keep their personal information private.

3. Teach your Kids about the Value of Personal Information

Just like money, information about your kids like the games they play and what they search online is valuable. Explain to your kids why their information has value and how they need to be selective about the information they provide to apps and websites. If need be, discuss what information can and cannot be shared online, i.e., phone numbers, photos, addresses, etc.

4. Explain to your Kids that What Happens Online Stays Online

You will need to explain to your kids that what happens online stays online, so there is no going back. They also need to be explained that what they post online can be copied, so they might not be able to undo any damage they could cause unknowingly.

Additional Tips to Bolster Online Security

It doesn’t take much effort to secure your online identity, as can be seen above. However, if you want to further bolster your security online, then the following tips will be right up your alley.

1. Use a VPN

Every time you connect to the internet with a WI-FI, you don’t trust, use a Virtual Private Network or VPN service, such as Ivacy VPN, which encrypts your incoming and outgoing data. As a result, no one can spy on you or get access to your data. Ivacy also comes equipped with a malware detector to keep you safe from online threats.

2. Clear Browser Cache

Your browser knows a lot about you through cookies, saved searches, and web history that may hold clues to your home address, family information, and relevant personal data as well. Do make it a habit to clear the cache now and then.

3. Disable the ‘Save Password’ Feature

Most browsers these days include a built-in password management solution that records all your passwords. But, to enhance your security, you shouldn’t save any passwords in this manner at all.

4. Avoid Click Bait

That news piece you stumbled across, the one telling you about some rumors relating to the royal family, could quite easily be a clickbait comprising of phishing links meant to harm you while masquerading as a secure website.

 

Data Privacy in the Words of Cybersecurity Influencers

There is no doubt about the fact that data privacy, at least when it comes to regular users, is a concept that’s fast becoming obsolete. For the past few years, vendors and merchants have constantly fallen prey to data breaches that exposed vast troves of consumer information.

Even worse, digital advertising has morphed into a form of 24/7 surveillance, as evidenced by scandals like the ones surrounding Facebook in 2018.

All of this has combined to create a landscape that’s dominated by distrust, especially from the part of users which, through no fault of their own, had their data stolen and traded on the Dark Web.

However, with proper security awareness and a small checklist, users can boost their data privacy and online security. This way, even in the event of a data breach or a large scale attack, they can make sure their financial info or sensitive data does not get into the hands of malicious actors.

The first critical step to take is choosing strong, unique passwords for each account and enabling two-factor authentic whenever possible. Because SIM hijacking still happens at scale, we recommend pairing a strong password with a uniquely generated code from an app like Google Authenticator. That means that, even if an attacker gets a user’s password, they won’t be able to login to the account, as they won’t have the unique 2FA code.

To manage a lot of passwords, users should consider using a password manager. A paid solution is offers more flexibility and convenience but free, open source password managers are just as secure.

The second step for data privacy is reviewing the personal information shared with services and websites. Thanks to GDPR, most online services, including social media giants, now allow people access to a copy of the data they provided by using those services. Afterward, once the user establishes what they’re comfortable with in terms of sharing, they can choose a security solution that can minimize online tracking or risk of compromise.

For eliminating ads, simple plugins like Disconnect or uBlockOrigin can offer users respite from online spam or malvertising, one of the most popular vehicles for malware infections.

To break out of so-called “echo chambers”, simply switching to search engines like Startpages.com or DuckDuckGo can show a lot more content than Google’s personalized searches, which rely on massive data collection in order to show relevant results.

In terms of actual security practices, malware, ransomware, and other attacks proliferate, so users have to do their due diligence and find proper solutions. Because traditional Antivirus is a reactive, not proactive solutions, users should pick a threat prevention security suite that can stop infections not through local scanning but through web filtering. With the rise in attacks like cryptojacking, where malicious scripts hijack a computer or smartphone’s resources to mine cryptocurrency, threat prevention security solutions are essential.

For true online security and privacy, we recommend combining a paid, top-rated security suite with good password practices (2FA is essential!) and browser plugins dedicated to stopping ad trackers and minimizing data collection. Online security has long been a game of cat and mouse but, with people acting proactively, the consequences of a large-scale hack or breach can be minimal. In terms of privacy, a simple browser script can make sure that the user does not participate in this surveillance system. By also choosing a more private search engine, users not only enjoy more anonymity, but they also avoid the ideological echo chambers created by AI that tailors content based on previous engagements.

– Ana Dascalescu (Digital Marketing Specialist at Heimdal Security)

In this day and age, due to technological advancements, internet privacy is a sensitive issue. When talking about privacy, we actually talk about our own privacy, which is a fundamental right of every human being. Due to the fact that not all the websites provide proper protection, we all should be very careful how third parties use our data.

For example, without knowing, our personal data may be collected for committing frauds, if we are not 100% aware of the data operator. In this respect, as a data privacy lawyer, I always recommend that all the internet users stick by the regulations set forward by the “GDPR” since it is the only to ensure no one can use our data without our consent. In conclusion, individuals must read data processing agreements carefully before signing anything, even if the signature represents a click on the terms and conditions button.

– Sabin Taclit (Legal Manager & Data Protection Officer at NextGen Communications)

From the very beginning, many SMEs have become collateral victims of GDPR due to insufficient investments in sophisticated encryption and protection software or inexpensive hours for audit and consulting services … But what many did not consider, is that many times SMEs can be more flexible in process rebuilding and alignment efforts.

Most of the times small entrepreneurs are thinking their companies are too small to invest heavily in data protection processes. This is terribly wrong. GDPR applies to organizations of any size if data processing takes place regularly or if the processing includes special categories of data defined in Article 9 of the GDPR.

Here are five serious reasons why SMEs need to understand this regulation urgently and align their processes with it:

  1. GDPR comes with new rights, so new obligations – First, GDPR gives new people rights to their personal data. Theoretically, we can now go to a bank or supermarket to ask them to erase our data from their systems. This is theoretically only because there is some legal frame imposing us to expect at least 10 years to receive all personal data. Here is a real right: ask a provider to move your data and your agreement to another service provider… That’s a real right known as Data Portability. For example, you have the right to move the services file from one telco provider to another. But that does not mean that the old supplier will erase our data.
  2. Suppliers are now under a microscope– GDPR comes with new responsibilities on data processors. If we process data on behalf of a Data Controller, we need to keep its instructions in order to align the GDPR. If we make a mistake as a data processor, and the Controller can prove this, we could become directly accountable in front of Authorities.
  3. Do we need DPOs or not?– At SME level, obviously not. This does not exclude the recommendation to consider a project team and a project coordinator. Permanent tasks, even in an SME, such as keeping records of processing, consent, or breaches reporting, come in addition to the ingrained task of assimilating internal policies across departments.
  4. Employees as a weak link– Studies show that at least one-third of personal data vulnerabilities are due to personnel error. There is no substitute for training employees about their core responsibilities within GDPR. In addition, make sure your company specialists, such as traders, HR representatives, and board members, receive specific training on their roles about what they need to do to comply with GDPR.
  5. We need to tell our clients what we do with their data– According to GDPR, customers have the right to be informed – in clear language – about what we do with their personal data. Our online privacy policy should be written in plain language, telling our customers about where we get the data, what we do with them, and who we share with. If we have a web page for our business, we have to put our trust on privacy on the site on the Personal data privacy page and to update

Small companies or individual specialists who ensure their compliance with GDPR benefit not only from safer and more professional business processes but also from a certain competitive advantage over competitors who did not pay much attention to the provisions of the new Regulation. GDPR compliance is a label of trust, loyalty, and respect for our customers and partners and the personal data they entrust us with.

– Radu Crahmaliuc (GDPR Analyst & Business Advisor at GDPR Ready!)

How to Celebrate Data Privacy Day?

Data Privacy Day events are plentiful, and each of them aims to ensure internet users take their online privacy and security more seriously. If you are wondering how to celebrate the event, you can do so by taking certain steps to bolster your security online, such as these data privacy day tips:

  • Use two-factor authentication
  • Use a VPN
  • Create unique passwords across accounts
  • Refrain from sharing personal and confidential information everywhere
  • Only enter personal and confidential information on websites with an SSL certificate
  • Back up your data regularly and encrypting it and so on
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Final Thoughts

In this day and age of evolving online threats and incidents that lead to data theft, it has become imperative for us to invest in counter-measures that deal with the invasion of internet privacy. It is high time that we wake up to the frightening reality of cybercrime and begin to exercise more caution online than we currently do!

There are data protection laws in place to ensure you are not compromised, but there are times when you will need to take things into your own hands to avoid getting in a fix.

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