News/Trends

Data Privacy Day 2021: Druva’s best practices for protecting your information online

Every year, hundreds of publicly known, and equally concerning, unknown data breaches result in unauthorized access to millions of individuals’ personal data. While most of these breaches are relatively minor, a fair number have resulted in devastating consequences for both individuals and organizations. Fortunately, privacy laws and regulations have started to blossom over the last few years, bringing much-needed attention to the importance of robust privacy practices. So much attention, in fact, that Data Privacy Day is now a recognized holiday across North America and Europe! 

Data Privacy Day is an effort to empower individuals and encourage businesses to respect privacy, safeguard data, and enable trust. In 2019, the Pew Research Center found that 81% of individuals feel that they have no control over when data is collected about them, and 84% want more control over how their data is being used¹. Consumers are sending a clear message that it is in a business’s best interest to provide consumers with increased privacy protections and control mechanisms for their personal data. Luckily, both businesses and consumers alike can play a role in increasing an individual’s autonomy over their personal data. With Druva as an official champion of Data Privacy Day 2021, the following blog outlines best practices for individuals and businesses to help increase privacy protections.

Best practices for individuals

  • Share with care (and purpose) — Think about the information you are sharing across the internet. From search engines to social media, all of this data can be tracked, mined, and packaged into a data profile, typically for advertisers to follow you around the Internet. Much of the information you provide when completing an online form is optional, so think before you submit. There are search engines available, such as DuckDuckGo, which allow you to escape this tracking and search the internet without concerns over what information might be collected and sold. 
  • Your online presence is yours alone — Third-party tracking and data sharing are common practice among many businesses. I cannot emphasize enough that many websites offer security and privacy settings that are yours to configure, yet 74% of consumers rarely or never read a company’s privacy policy before accepting it². If you do not take the time to educate yourself and adjust your privacy settings, you may be allowing your internet behavior to be tracked and shared with third parties.
  • Data cleanup — Due to GDPR and CCPA, we each have the right and responsibility to make sure our personal information collected and maintained by a business is accurate. However, it goes far beyond that — have you reviewed which phone apps are tracking your location? Have you taken inventory of which organizations you’ve given sensitive information to? If companies do not have your data, they cannot leak or breach your data. Services such as Data Detox provide step-by-step instructions and tips to better understand and remove the massive amount of data about you that has been collected over the years. 

Best practices for businesses

  • Hold vendors accountable — As business leaders, hold yourselves and your providers to a higher standard. Shop around when you are looking for new vendors and ensure any third party you are working with is taking data protection seriously. Once you’ve chosen the vendor, put the right contractual obligations in place to protect the privacy of your data subjects.
  • Be transparent — 47% of people have greater trust in companies that commit to privacy compliance³. This includes updating privacy policies to disclose the types of data that are being collected and allowing consumers to easily exercise their privacy rights — including the right to opt-out of hearing from you. Have user-friendly policies in place so consumers are not required to obtain a law degree to interpret your privacy policy.
  • Build a comprehensive security program — Ensuring your organization has the appropriate security measures in place to protect data is imperative to preventing a data breach. 95% of customers say their trust in a company makes them more likely to remain loyal to that brand⁴. Even one data breach can ruin that trust and impact your company’s reputation forever. Build a security program that includes strict access controls, effective vendor management, and reliable data backup/recovery solutions. This will complement your data protection efforts to minimize the risk of a data breach.

Data is a precious asset. Individuals providing it and companies collecting it need to treat it with the level of care it deserves, because we all benefit from the responsible use of data. The tips provided here barely scratch the surface of the measures you and your company can put in place to begin taking control of your data use. Although Data Privacy Day only comes once a year, let’s use it as an opportunity to start taking steps toward improving data protection for all. At Druva, we’re committed to protecting the data we process and educating our customers on safe data best practices. 

In honor of Data Privacy Day, Druva hosted a LinkedIn Live session with Drew Daniels, CIO and CISO, and Jung McCann, General Counsel and DPO, exploring data protection in depth. If you found today’s blog interesting, watch the session on-demand and join our data protection experts to learn more about keeping your data safe and secure online.

 

¹ Pew Research Center, Americans and Privacy Report, 2019.

² Pew Research Center, Americans and Privacy Report, 2019.

³ Cisco, Consumer Privacy Survey, 2019.

⁴ Salesforce Research, Trends in Customer Trust, 2018.