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Information Technology Services

What is Data Privacy Day?


by EagleTech Katie Kuri, Class of 2019

Happy Data Privacy Day!

Many of you are probably asking what Data Privacy Day is and why you should even care about it- this article will answer both of those questions. Whenever you use the Internet, upload information, download files, login to websites, or do many other common activities regarding the online world, you are allowing your information to be collected, used, and shared without knowing it. Data Privacy Day is meant to inform people that their personal information is being used online, and help them learn ways to protect their privacy and those of others.

As technology continues to develop, so does its role in our everyday lives. We store a scary amount of personal data in cyberspace, from things like email passwords, banking information, and social security numbers. It’s easy to see why this kind of data is important to protect- it basically contains access to our whole lives. Although you may think you’re being safe and secure in regard to your personal data online, the following are examples of huge data hacks that have happened in the past several years, and may have even affected you.

  • Yahoo! Three months ago, Yahoo! reported that every single Yahoo! account (3 billion in total) had been compromised in a 2013 data breach. It resulted in hackers obtaining personal information such as names, email addresses, phone numbers, passwords, and sometimes even security questions and answers of all Yahoo! Users.
  • Uber. This data breach was reported two months ago after being concealed for over a year. The hackers in this case received information such as names and phone numbers of passengers, and driver’s license numbers of Uber drivers.
  • Dropbox. This data storage service was hacked in 2012, where hackers compromised tens of millions of accounts, receiving information such as email addresses and account passwords of Dropbox users.

Unfortunately, this kind of personal data breach does happen, and it does so fairly often. But, there still are ways to protect your personal information online to reduce your chances of being victimized. Here are a few of those ways:

  1. Update and strengthen your passwords regularly. Don’t use the same password across all your accounts, and don’t put anything like your birthday or social security number as a username or password.
  2. Enable additional security features, such as two-factor authentication, when websites offer them.
  3. Be cautious using public Wifi networks and hotspots. They are not secure, meaning there is a possibility that anyone can see what you are doing while you are connected.
  4. Be cautious about clicking on links in emails, social media postings, or ads. They are often how hackers access personal information.

While these are only a few of the many important ways to protect your data and yourself from people online, they are a good start when it comes to being safer about your personal information. Visit StaySafeOnline to learn more about Data Privacy Day and ways to keep your data secure!