Data Privacy Day – 7 Tips to Stay Safe
Keeping your accounts safe is no easy task. Our Chief Security Officer, José Costa, gives us seven Titans’ Tips on how to keep our data protected.
"Data is the new oil" – I’m sure we’ve all come across this saying countless times.
It’s not surprising, then, that data are being collected and processed during every moment of every hour of every day of our lives. While data are essential for companies to help provide more targeted services and campaigns, they can also be a risk. If not handled correctly, data can cause tremendous headaches for the individual and for the company handling them. That’s why it’s essential to raise awareness about the risks associated with data processing.
Almost all of us use, whether for personal or professional reasons, social media. By their very nature, social networks have almost unfettered access to a colossal amount of information. In recent years, particularly in 2021, we’ve witnessed an increase in the number of cases of data privacy violations.
On the one hand, this reveals the lack of commitment that still exists among some companies regarding the collection and processing of data. On the other, it demonstrates a lack of understanding amongst users in terms of the various platforms they use and their acceptance of their terms and conditions – often at the thoughtless click of a button.
Initially, when the concept of cookies was first developed, their main objective was to improve our online experience by allowing websites and other online platforms to memorise user preferences. Today, however, they have become mere navigation conditions imposed by platforms and that, in case of refusal, pose a limit on access to information, leading the user to accept them without having a full understanding of the extent of the permission they’re granting. Because of this, it is increasingly important to know how data collection operates so that we can protect ourselves from data violations, be it in our personal or professional lives.
More and more often we ask ourselves when downloading an app - a social network, a clothing shop, or even a game - why we need to share our contacts, images or cameras when none of this is necessary for its operation. We understand nowadays the use of data is fundamental for companies to understand the customer journey. But many apps, especially those with free access, use user data as a "form of payment" - and therefore require extra attention.
However, the threats go far beyond this. Cyber-criminals are becoming savvier to the way companies behave when requesting access to user data. As a result, it’s now even more difficult to decipher whether the app you’ve just given permission to access your data is legitimate or not.
Both companies and users must raise cyber security to the next level and adopt more robust control measures to mitigate and prevent incidents that may come with irreversible consequences. And when it comes to fighting cyber-crime, knowledge is more powerful than any other weapon you can think of. The better we know the methods and techniques of these cyber-criminals, the better we can protect ourselves.
So, without further ado, here are our 7 Titans’ Tips to keep your accounts and information secure:
- Set strong, long passwords that include several combinations of characters – and a different password for every account!
- Use multi-factor authentication methods like mobile phone tokens, reducing reliance on a single security measure.
- Keep software updated.
- Use firewalls and antivirus software.
- Don’t open emails and links containing suspicious content.
- Only use websites that force secure communications (HTTPS).
It’s never too late to start protecting our identity. May this Data Privacy Day give pause for thought on how we can better take care of our data. It’s our responsibility – so let’s rise to the challenge!