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A Personal Data Checklist for Data Protection Day

Check out Danielle’s related post for small- to medium-sized enterprises.

January 28th is Data Protection Day in the United States and Europe.  The celebration of this day is the anniversary of “the signing of the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data in 1981.”  [Source]  The regulation that the council put in place is The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

You can no longer think…

  • It will never happen to me
  • I’m not rich or famous so I’m not a target

These perceptions create easy prey for cyber criminals as perceptions dictate behavior. This is a primary reason that Data Protection Day was first established in 2009.  This day focuses everyone on the importance of data privacy. It raises awareness about how individuals can protect their data and their privacy, online and offline.

Data breaches have become an everyday occurrence, with no end in sight. Spend a few minutes today to help protect your personal information.

Here are a few steps you can take toward securing your individual data. 
  • Change the passwords to your online accounts.
    • Do not use names of any information people can find in your social media (dogs, kids, etc).
    • Random is better.
  • Clear the browsing data from your Internet browsers on all computers (especially the cookies).
  • If your online account systems offer two-factor authentication, use it.
  • If your devices provide biometrics for access, use it.
    • iPhones allow you to use your fingerprint to login to the phone.
    • Some laptops include this feature as well.
  • Cover your computer web camera lens.
  • Remind your family and friends about the risk of sharing personal information with others (especially children).
  • On unwanted phone solicitation calls, never say “yes”. Hang up and then block the number from your mobile device if that is where you got the call.
  • Regarding children, educate them to not share their gaming account information with friends. I know on Xbox there is game sharing, where login information must be shared with a player that has a certain game with another player who doesn’t have the game, so that they can play together.
    • So many other things to discuss with kids; that would be a different post.
  • Shred important papers.
  • Get a credit report and check your score.
  • Google yourself, your spouse and your children. See what the search results are in case there any discrepancies.
  • If you and your family, including children, don’t have an identity theft protection service already, consider it. Many banks offer this service also.
  • Put a credit freeze on your minor-age child’s social security number.
    • According to the Identity Theft Resource Center , kids are 51 times more likely to be the subject of identity theft than adults! Another study found that one in 10 kids has his or her identity stolen by the age of 18.
      • You can do this with the three large credit bureaus. Transunion, Experian and Equifax (yes, I know Equifax had a major breach and even more reason to do some of the things I’m suggesting).

About Secure Compliance Solutions LLC
Secure Compliance Solutions LLC (SCS) provides a wide range of cybersecurity consulting and managed security services to small and medium sized businesses (SMB) and government agencies, fortifying their Information Security and Data Privacy programs. SCS works with its clients to tailor and implement industry-proven frameworks and standards to meet compliance goals and drive consistent security operations. We raise awareness of current security trends and risks to prepare personnel to recognize and defend against potential security issues. We implement technical solutions and controls to minimize data risks and liabilities. Our Managed Security Service provides “constant watch” against both internal and external cyber threats and attacks. At SCS, we promote a strategy of readiness and resilience that facilitates business risk mitigation and enables dynamic response capabilities to keep your business up and running.