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Hearing from the Industry on Data Privacy Day

28 January, is observed as the Data Privacy Day in India, the US, Canada and 47 European countries in order to raise awareness and promote data protection practices. To highlight the significance of the day in a data-driven market, industry leaders share their insights. 

‘’With the rapid proliferation of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), internet of things (IoT) etc., businesses need to continuously evaluate the platforms and apps they use from a data security perspective. Today, it has become imperative for companies to opt for technology solutions that have in-built enterprise security features and compliance. Also, we cannot ignore the fact that employees need to be sensitized especially when there is constant news about how user data has been compromised / misused by people with malicious intent. With Data Privacy Day being observed today, organizations need to invest in the training of their IT teams and employees to ensure they acquire the required knowledge and skillsets necessary to tackle today’s sophisticated threats to IT security.’’ Bhavin Turakhia, Founder & CEO, Flock

“The Personal Data Protection bill is a step in the right direction. I think every individual should have the right to ascertain the extent of exposure of sensitive and private data. By viewing the data as sensitive, critical and general as against putting it all in one bucket, the government will enable users to have a seamless digital experience while knowing that the data will be processed, stored and protected under a strict lawful guideline. Also, the bill outlines a legal framework to preserve the sanctity of consent in data sharing and penalize those breaching privacy norms, thereby giving citizens more power and control over their digital personas and the associated data.” Neelesh Kripalani, Senior Vice President and Head, Center of Excellence (CoE), Clover Infotech

“Treat every day as Data Privacy Day and apply these simple tips to secure your data.”

Sunil Sharma, managing director sales, India & SAARC, Sophos

Use a password manager: Password managers will create and remember complex passwords for you, making it easy for you to keep different passwords for every website. All you need to do is remember one super long and complicated password for the manager itself.

Be aware of what apps you use: Always check the permissions an app is asking for before you download it to your personal device. It’s also important to delete any apps that you don’t use anymore.

Know what you’re sharing on social media: Information such as your date of birth or address gives cybercriminals usable information about you. Equally, sharing when you’re going on a trip can alert local criminals that your home will be empty.

Use two-factor authentication: You can do this with an app such as Google Authenticator, or from SMS codes sent directly to your phone. If you want to be super secure you can do it with a hardware key that you plug straight into your computer or laptop.

Use a webcam cover: It’s not impossible for hackers to access your webcam. Keep yourself protected and have peace of mind by using a webcam cover.

Keep your shields up: If you’re having connection troubles, resist the temptation to “turn off the firewall” or “bypass the router” to see if that solves the problem. That’s a bit like disconnecting your car’s brakes and then going for a ride to see if performance improves.

Consider using a ransomware blocker: Tools like Sophos’ own Cryptoguard can detect and block the disk-scrambling part of a ransomware attack. This offers you protection even if the malware file itself, and its running process, is out there on someone else’s computer that you can’t control.

Patch early, Patch often: There are millions of computers still at risk from WannaCry – this means they haven’t been patched for more than two and a half years! Don’t be one of those people. The best way to stay up to date is have auto-updates on so you know you’re running the latest software.

Make regular backups: And keep at least one recent copy offline, so you can access your precious data even if you’re locked out of your own computer, your own network or your own accounts. By the way, encrypt your backups so that you don’t spend the rest of your life wondering what might show up if any of your backup devices go missing.

While today might be the official Data Privacy Day, remember its Data Privacy Day tomorrow, the day after and the day after that. It’s like Quit Smoking Day – you take it on for the rest of your digital life.

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