Data Privacy Day: Six of the Most Important Privacy Tips

It’s that time again – Happy Data Privacy Day!

On January 28, 2019, we commemorate the 1981 signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection and take time to consider the importance of data privacy.

This is a good day to ensure that we are all taking the right steps to protect our personal information from fraud and identity theft. The following are reminders about privacy and security best practices from the Stop.Think.Connect website, supporting resources and events for Data Privacy Day:

  • Usernames and passwords are often not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media. Whenever offered, use strong authentication tools – like biometrics, security keys or a unique, one-time code through an app on your mobile device.
  • Keep software on internet-connected devices updated – including personal computers, smartphones and tablets. Keeping everything current reduces the risk of infection from ransomware and malware.
  • Delete emails that you don’t need or if you don’t recognize the sender. Even if you know the source, if something looks odd or suspicious, don’t click on any links and get rid of it.
  • Back up your important files, including photos, emails and documents. Should you fall victim to malware you can restore your important information.
  • Think before posting photos or personal information about yourself and others online. Consider what a post reveals, who might see it and how it might affect you or others. Check the privacy and security settings to make sure you are comfortable with whom and what you are sharing.
  • Personal information is like money. Value it. Protect it. Information about you, such as purchase history or location, has value – just like money. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it is collected by apps, websites and all connected devices.

These recommendations will help keep us all on track to protect our personal information and make it more difficult for those with bad intentions to get their hands on it.

Ginger Armbruster

As the City of Seattle’s Chief Privacy Officer, Ginger leads a team of privacy specialists in the execution of the City’s Privacy Program, following a principles-based approach to the City’s management of the public’s personal and sensitive information.