Why consumers need to remain savvy with their personal data Special

Posted Jan 26, 2021 by Tim Sandle
Marking Data Privacy Day, consumers need to remain savvy when using inline services and this includes questioning what happens to their data and why they should offer personal details to companies.
A woman shopping online
A woman shopping online
Keith Williamson, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
There are new best practices for consumers to help keep data protection top of mind on Data Privacy Day, which is marked on 28th January each year. To gain an insight into what is really important, Digital Journal touched base with Yoji Watanabe, President and CEO of Cybersecurity Cloud (CSC).
In terms of what consumers should be doing on Data Privacy Day, Yoji Watanabe recommends:
Be careful in public
Be wary about using free Wi-Fi. Many people connect to free Wi-Fi on the go, but that is a system that is easy to snoop on in the first place, says Watanabe. If a hacker finds an access point name that resembles a café or an airport, and you inadvertently use it, you end up sending your information to the hacker instead of talking directly to the hotspot. The hacker also has access to every piece of information you send out—emails, phone numbers, credit card information and business data. Today’s Wi-Fi encryption standards are flawed, and there is a possibility that anyone near you could easily access your information if you use a Wi-Fi network.
Be risk adverse
Employ basic risk prevention measures that include creating a strong, uncrackable password, says Watanabe. Cybercriminals have several password-hacking tactics at their disposal, but the easiest one is simply to buy your passwords off the dark web. If you’ve been using the same password for many years, there is a good chance that it’s been compromised. Never use sequential numbers or letters or use personal information such as your name or date of birth. Make it long, use a mix of characters, use different passwords for different logins and update your passwords regularly.
Pause and consider
Make informed decisions about how you share your personal information with organizations by considering the amount of personal information they are asking for and weighing it against the benefits you may receive in return. This includes being thoughtful about what you share the apps on your computer or mobile device – including your geographic location, contacts list and photo album. Delete unused apps and keep others secure by performing updates.