This Saturday, January 28, marks the 9th annual Data Privacy Day. Data Privacy Day focuses on increasing data security awareness and promoting cybersecurity education amongst Canadian and American citizens.

One way to celebrate Data Privacy Day is to review security practices to ensure data is protected. Here are three commonly overlooked data security areas to review this Data Privacy Day:

  1. Device passcodes
    • Passcodes may seem unnecessary or tedious, but if a device is lost or stolen, anyone can gain access to the information it holds. Using passcodes on smartphones, tablets and laptops is the first line of defense in data protection and prevents any physical attacks. Along with passwords, many devices now have the option to set up biometric controls, such as a thumbprint, to grant access to a device.
  2. Credentials
    • A common way for hackers to gain access to various accounts is by obtaining the username and password. It’s common to use the same username and password combination to multiple accounts, so they are not forgotten, but this can result in multiple accounts being hacked at once. Updating credentials to accounts that contain sensitive data every three to four months helps prevent information theft.
  3. Network access
    • Lastly, one overlooked area of data security is network access. Free WiFi, especially while traveling, is seen as a pleasant surprise, but can result in device vulnerabilities and malicious users gaining access. If traveling, users may way to invest in a personal hotspot, or use password protected networks. When using public networks, users should avoid accessing any accounts that contain personal data.

Protecting personal data should be a priority for all device users. Compromised information can lead to financial and reputational risks. To learn more about Data Privacy Day and other ways to be involved, visit here.