Data Privacy Day celebrated annually on January 28th, is an international effort to empower individuals to respect privacy, safeguard data, and enable trust. Don’t think of #DataPrivacyDay as just another “social media holiday”. Think of it as a chance to review the privacy policies currently in place at your business. Are there ways you can improve? Raise the level of data security? At Braver, we think data privacy and security are of the utmost importance. That’s why to celebrate Data Privacy Day, we’re sharing 3 easy to implement privacy tips so you can stay #PrivacyAware.
Tip #1: Enable Dual-Factor Authentication
Where possible, we suggest enabling two-factor authentication. Most standard security procedures only require a simple username and password. Because of this, it has become easier for criminals to gain access to a user’s private data. Two-factor authentication allows you an extra level of security and protection.
Just like a normal log-in process, two-factor authentication is completed after your username and password are entered. Based on the type of two-factor authentication you are using, you can be prompted to enter a numerical code, provide a thumbprint, or take a photo for facial recognition. It can be a little time consuming to complete each time you want to log in, but the extra level of protection is worth it.
Tip #2: Create Complex Passwords
Password complexity is one of the easiest ways to step up your security. For example, if your password is “Password123”, you might want to consider something a bit more complex! At the absolute minimum, your passwords should include the following:
- Lowercase characters
- Uppercase characters
- “Special” characters (@, #, $, %, &, etc.)
- 8 – 15 alphanumeric characters
We also recommend changing your passwords every quarter and using different passwords for your business and personal accounts. For more password Dos and Don’ts and to understand how passwords are a big part of HIPAA compliance, check out our deep dive here.
Tip #3: Updates Software and Hardware Regularly
All good things must come to an end, including the business software and hardware that you have likely been using for years. In the tech field, we call this End of Life. This basically means that the developer will no longer issue security updates, fix bugs and flaws, or offer support.
Leaving your device or network open and vulnerable to cyber attacks is never a good thing. That’s why we recommend following the developer’s guidelines for updating on time.
While technically you can still use your computer after the End of Life deadline, it comes with incredible risk. After the deadline, your computer will be vulnerable to exploits, bugs, and viruses. If you choose to be daring and not update and then find yourself with an issue, you will likely receive no help from Microsoft.
FYI to our Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 users: End of Life is quickly approaching! Find out when and how you can start an upgrade plan today.
Please use these tips to make sure your business is #PrivacyAware. For more tech tips, please follow our blog, or contact us for more info.