What is Data Protection Day?

​How can businesses ensure that their data about employees, customers, and other data is secure?

Companies have a lot of valuable data, such as business insights and financial data, but also data about their customers and employees. Companies need to make sure that they keep both their own and customers’ data protected and in accordance with current regulations. This also goes for the company’s partners and vendors.

A security breach, in which customer data is leaked, can lead to financial loss. But it can also lead to a loss in customer loyalty, trust and brand reputation. All companies should be transparent about how they collect, use, and share end users’ data. They also need to have in place the security technology, security policies, and management of risks and cyber security that are crucial to keep data protected. 

You might also be interested in reading about how to establish a strong security culture in your organisation

How can I as an individual become better at protecting my data?

As a consumer, you are responsible for making informed decisions when sharing your personal information. All data about you, such as your age and gender, location, and purchase history, have great value. So does the digital footprints you leave behind when browsing the internet.

It’s not only about what information you give away, but also about what you give companies and applications access to. This can, for example, be when downloading an app. You’re often required to give the owner of the application access to certain information about you before you can start using it. 

This can be access to your microphone, your list of contacts, your location, photos, and health data. Oftentimes, this information isn’t particularly relevant for the app you are downloading—and you might not feel comfortable sharing this information either.

Almost everything about you can be viewed as data—which is why you should always be in full control of the information that you share. Look into the terms of the apps you are downloading, and manage your privacy settings. Always keep in mind what information you are sharing, and with whom.