Time to Celebrate the Data Privacy Day 2021

Data Privacy Day is a global effort to empower people, businesses, and governments to respect privacy, protect private data, and enhance trust online. It happens once a year where we highlight that enhancing data privacy is a marathon, not a race—a never-ending conundrum.

#DPD2021

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Why Do We Have a Data Privacy Day?

First, what is Data Privacy Day? It is an international day upon which the United States Senate, The Council of Europe, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and the United Kingdom Information Commissioner participate in online campaigns to make people aware of data privacy.

Besides illustrating why your data matters and your security should be tightly-knit throughout the year, PureVPN also participates in this global campaign. Highlighting the big privacy issues every year on January 28. When we say big, we mean national security pitfalls, privacy issues, and ransomware attacks that stifle corporations like Solarwinds, Twitter, and Garmin.

DPD Image

How did DPD Start?

Let’s dial the clock back to 1970 when the German State of Hessen has its first data protection law, followed by Sweden three years later. The United States had its first privacy law in 1974, and in 2010 the Congress decided to make it national considering how important data privacy is for every US citizen.

Back on April 26, 2006, the Council of Europe first decided to have a “Data Protection Day,” now known as Data Privacy Day (DPD), to make people aware of data privacy and protection. The committee opened Convention 108 for signature and published Data Protection Guidelines, which pushes the idea of data privacy and secure AI-backed applications.

Even though data privacy is still new to some people, which exposes them to many cyberattacks and prone to data mining laws, we couldn’t stand and watch individuals and companies bend their knees to cyberattacks.

How did DPD Start?
YOUR Private Data is at Risk

Your Private Data is at Risk

One of the fundamental human rights is: Your data must be private.Data privacy will always be a part of your life. When you are putting out personal data on the internet like travel history and medical information, a hacker can use it against you. Social media companies continue to make more money out of online ads in exchange for your data. At some point, you are to be blamed.

  • Leaking a single email address via phishing or vishing attack can make a giant corporation at risk of a ransomware attack. Further, when you transition to mobile devices, a rogue app that scans documents can communicate your information (email addresses or phone numbers) back to the attacker.
  • Installing mobile apps are best-suited for utility and entertainment. Still, it collects your private information such as your age, gender, interests, personal contacts, or the time you are most active.
  • Location-tracking applications are still a crystal-ball for privacy. As a technology-reliant culture, we are bound to use more track-and-trace mobile apps, which have access to our everyday information.
  • Most European countries use Google and Apple technologies subject to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws. But when you put your phone in your pocket, some mobile apps still run in the background and connect to Bluetooth hardware, and then your location is always on the radar.

Major Breaches and How Covid-19 Affected Data Privacy

Major Breaches and How Covid-19 Affected Data Privacy

Settling into Covid-19 was a new reality that affected companies, individuals, and data breaches that gained traction in 2020. The pandemic connected more people online, and securing digital life in a 24-hour monitored environment became more important than ever.

  • Microsoft experienced a data breach that leaked 250 million entries that included IP addresses and email addresses.
  • Video-conferencing tools like Zoom couldn't cope with a high volume of new customers, and they couldn’t bulletproof their software in a short time. Therefore, the company had to suffer from Zoombombing.
  • Facebook integrated into WhatsApp and changed the app’s Privacy Policy. Now, people are jumping ship under the false belief that a messaging app that they have been using for years is no longer end-to-end encrypted.
  • Hackers stole and led data of 1,000 high-profile police officers in Belarus to prevent the crackdown against a group of protestors.
  • FireEye, a renowned security firm, ironically experienced a cyberattack and lost crucial hacking tools. Most cybersecurity experts called it a nation-level attack.
  • The list goes on and on.

Data Privacy Just Got Serious

The price we have to pay for not taking privacy a little more seriously:

  • The average cost for a nation-backed data breach was $4.43 million in 2020. Out of all the malicious data breaches that happened last year, nation-backed attacks amount to 13%.
  • Google, Amazon, and WhatsApp experienced the most phishing attacks in the second quarter of 2020. Phishing targeted companies and individuals and is regarded as the most common of cyberattacks.
  • 20.8% of the total malicious spam happened in the United Kingdom last year. British citizens were also victims of an extensive email scam that used “coronavirus” as the email subject and triggered them to click a malicious link.
  • Cyberattackers hacked Twitter account to start a Bitcoin scam back in July 2020. They targeted high-level politicians and celebrities like Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Kanye West, and Elon Musk.
Data Privacy Just Got Serious

What Do You Need to Do?

The internet never sleeps, and it’s a constant threat. Many people are not as informed about data privacy and online threats. Even though you cannot stop high-profile breaches and hacks single-handedly, the most crucial step is to become a DPD champion. We want to ensure no one can use, manipulate, or steal your data at any point in your life.

Here’s what you can do at a personal level:

Be aware of your surroundings:You might connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot at Starbucks or a legitimate hotspot run by a malicious actor. Avoid doing any online transactions when you are connected to public Wi-Fi.

Turn off Bluetooth connectivity: Anyone can connect to your mobile device if your Bluetooth stays on without any reason. This usually happens in a hotel lobby and without your knowledge.

Use Multi-factor authentication: Not two-factor authentication but multi-factor authentication, which can protect your emails, online accounts, and private messages. Use complex passwords that contain special characters.

Create a privacy culture:Talk about privacy tips over dinner with your loved ones at home, especially with senior adults or pre-teens. You can share some of our blogs with your co-workers to ensure they are following privacy hygiene.

Be a part of Data Privacy Day: Check all the DPD activities on January 28, 2021, be it on Facebook or Twitter. Follow data privacy trends and hashtags to make sure you are doing your part.

What Do You Need to Do?

PureVPN is a DPD Champion

We care about people, our customers, and the online community. The P in PureVPN stands for privacy and people. We are privileged to join hands with other cybersecurity organizations to promote DPD and build a privacy-centric environment. Data privacy is a two-way street.

There is no silver bullet or a one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to data privacy. Like a VPN, we can give you the tools to enhance your online privacy or education on dealing with threats, but we can’t stop you from clicking a malicious link or opening ports when they are not needed.

You have to protect your private data and take responsibility.

Every person is responsible. Do your part.

Own Your Privacy.

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PureVPN is a DPD Champion