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Three Simple Ways To Improve Your Data Privacy

Protect your personal information from prying eyes

Data Privacy Day is a timely reminder to make digital responsibility a daily priority.

How many “We’re updating our Privacy Policy” emails did you receive at the beginning of the year? Five? Ten? For many people, the dawn of 2020 was marked by a deluge of inbox messages from some of the biggest technology companies in the world. Why? Because California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CPA) came into effect on 1 January 2020 – and Silicon Valley giants had to comply with the new law in America’s Golden State.

California’s CPA is not the only piece of legislation that deals with data privacy. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and South Africa’s own Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) were both designed to ensure that organisations (private, public, governmental and non-governmental) manage sensitive data responsibly.As internet access increases and communities become more connected, there’s a growing need to educate web users about online privacy. Data Privacy Day is a global initiative to create more public awareness about the value of private data: it’s intrinsically valuable to you as an individual, but it’s also commercially valuable to companies and – unfortunately – cybercriminals.

Web-enabled mobile phones, laptops, wearable gadgets, and other smart devices are capable of gathering and sharing substantial information about who you are and what you do… Your name. Your phone number. Email address. Home address. Location history. Search history. Purchase history. If you don’t set boundaries regarding the treatment of your personal data, then there’s a risk it could be used in unwelcome ways.

Data Privacy Day is co-ordinated by the National Cyber Security Alliance, and is observed annually on the 28th of January. This year, BUI is supporting the campaign as a Data Privacy Day Champion organisation to encourage bigger conversations about the importance of being #PrivacyAware. Follow us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter for handy resources and helpful tips. And take action today with these three simple steps to improve your data privacy…

#1 | 2FA and MFA all day | Control your account access

Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) methods whenever possible – especially for critical digital accounts like your online banking profile. Usernames and passwords are no longer enough to safeguard your personal information. One-time PINs, biometric scans, facial recognition, and even voice identification can put extra layers of security between your precious data and the cyber villains who want it.

#2 | Delete the obsolete | Uninstall apps you don’t use

Review the applications you have installed on your devices – and be ruthless. If you don’t use an app, then uninstall it and delete the associated folders. This will free up storage space, but more importantly, it will get rid of old, outdated, and unmaintained software that could be vulnerable to malware and other threats. Conversely, when you download a new app, read the Ts & Cs from top to bottom and check the permissions and privacy settings so that you can make an informed choice about the use of your private data.

#3 | Lock when you leave | Shield your screens from snoops

Lock your phone, tablet, and computer screens to protect your data from prying eyes. If you step away to grab a coffee, chat with a friend, or attend a meeting, then you need to prevent unauthorised access to your still-in-use devices. Lock screens are particularly important for smartphones, which are frequently misplaced, forgotten, lost, or stolen. A screen-specific password, PIN, or swipe pattern is one more barrier to help keep your data from being compromised.

Have you heard? Our Cyber Security Operations Center is now open! Take a look inside to see how our security specialists protect and defend critical data 365 days a year…

BUI is an official Microsoft Partner in South Africa, and an award-winning leader in identity and security solutions.

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