What is Data Privacy Day? Tips on how to stay safe online

Today is a holiday, but it is an important date for all internet users – and most likely not everyone knows about it. On January 28, the International Data Privacy Day, an event that promotes habits focused on privacy, security and protection of personal data, especially with regard to social networks.

The date originated in 2007 by the international organization Council of Europe (EC), and has since spread to almost 50 countries in Europe, in addition to the United States and Canada. The choice of January 28 was not in vain: it was on that day, in 1981, that Convention 108 of the EC was established, aimed at protecting people from any personal data or information.

That is why, from the past decade to the present, government agencies and other institutions try to educate citizens about the importance of protecting their data in the digital universe. Over the years, suggestions have not been limited to ordinary users, but have expanded to companies, families and government entities. In addition to the informational part, the date “promotes events and activities that encourage the development of technological tools that promote individual control of personally identifiable information, encourage compliance with privacy laws and create dialogues between stakeholders to promote protection and privacy. data privacy ”.

Brazil and the LGPD

Brazil does not officially celebrate the International Data Privacy Day, but it has already put forward some projects that aim to protect the personal information of Brazilians. It started with the Marco Civil da Internet, sanctioned in 2014 and which broadly covers the rights, laws and duties of citizens and companies in the virtual environment.


(Photo: HSC)

However, the so-called General Data Protection Law (LGPD), a set of guidelines specifically aimed at Internet use in Brazil, will shortly come into effect and, consequently, the way in which each person's personal data is treated in this context. Even a dedicated agency was created to take care of this issue, the National Data Protection Authority (ANPD).

At first, the LGPD's main target is Brazilian companies that work with internet in Brazil and how they deal with the data of other users. For example, among the rules of the project, data storage and collection must be done entirely on national territory – all with the consent of the owner of that information. Companies that break the rules may be warned and even fined in the event of an infraction. All this is under the responsibility of the ANPD.

Seven tips on how to protect your data

Although LGPD mainly covers the business side, it shows the importance of us, common users, adopting common practices so that we can maintain the security of our information online. The International Data Privacy Day celebrated today, January 28, but in fact it should be every day. After all, it is easier when we are (theoretically) in control, knowing where and in what services our data is stored or inserted.

And these habits are beneficial not only to keep our online life safer, but also to make it healthier and more peaceful in the real world. Not least because everyone is keeping an eye on everything other people post, and that can be detrimental in countless situations – from job interviews to personal relationships.

The question of data security has become an almost indisputable topic on and off the Internet, at least without the attention it should receive. Protecting your data can take more time than you usually dedicate to dealing with matters like this, but believe me: these are very well invested minutes that will be worth for months, ensuring extra security for your files, passwords and digital tracks.

Here are five basic tips for protecting your data and staying in a more secure virtual environment. None of the items are in a specific order, but they all play a role in building a safer place while using the internet.

1. Use two-factor authentication

This is probably the most talked about recommendation these days. And, in fact, it is one of the simplest and safest options that you can resort to at the moment. This is an additional layer of security that only releases access to the service or website that you are trying to open with a second confirmation, which can be via SMS on your cell phone, email, phone call, among other options. This makes it difficult for hackers to enter your personal accounts. Also choose to use some biometric factor in any of these authentications, so cybercriminals will find it even more difficult to invade your credentials.


2. Update your antivirus

Obviously, having an antivirus package that pays for a more complete option for your device. However, even completely free programs do an effective job. Your only job is to check if the software in question is updated to the latest version released by the manufacturer. If you use Windows 10, it is also worth taking a tour of the antivirus of the operating system itself. Generally, Microsoft updates the platform with each update of the system, so if you already run the latest version you probably won't have to worry about it.

3. Create different passwords

Another thing that you must have heard a lot about using a different password for each service you have registered with. And do not have the same password that changes just one character from site to site: use long strings, with various types of characters and alternating upper and lower case.

Of course, it would be impossible to remember so many passwords. to which the managers enter, which store all their passwords in one place. The advantage of this type of application is that it usually comes with encryption mechanisms, which allows you to save these passwords in a kind of virtual safe, without running the risk of them being leaked on the web.

Among the managers with the best evaluations are:

4. Pay attention to search engines

When you have doubts about a certain subject, it is very likely that your most common action is to "Google it". It turns out that even the most reliable search engines can lead to suspicious pages that can steal your personal data. The most common case involves indications of products for sale, which often direct to addresses contaminated by viruses.

Sometimes it is difficult to detect several items of authenticity on a single site, but a simple detail that you can check right away is the inclusion of the “https: //”, which comes before the online address, in the bar where you type the sites. If you are using your smartphone, it is more preferable that you choose the branded app (if it has one), rather than opening the page through the internet browser.

5. Be wary of all types of email

Yes. Be wary of everything. Even from that email of your relative who has the habit of sending messages to you. Many cybercriminals use the names of brands, companies and even famous people to catch new victims, who end up believing in fake content posing as real ones. Sometimes these messages are misleading because they use real data about you to encourage you to click on a link, which in turn leads to malware-infested pages.

Here is a manual check: you can stop with the mouse cursor over the link sent in the message, but do not click on the link in question. You will see the address of that website as soon as the cursor stops moving

6. Prefer secure Wi-Fi connections

You may also have heard that open Wi-Fi networks can pose a potential risk to data stored on your PC or smartphone. This is because these connections do not have any security protocol, precisely to facilitate access for anyone. For this reason, it is preferable that you only use Wi-Fi networks that have a password. Also, check if they use any more robust protocols, such as Wireless Equivalent Protocol (WEP), Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) or WPA2.

7. Common sense for everyone

It is useless to list a dozen tips if awareness does not come from itself. Not everyone needs to know where you are, who you are with, what you are doing or where you are going. It is in these situations that many malicious users end up reaching their victims. Does this mean isolating yourself from the virtual world? Never. Just be careful, checking everything that involves your data. And whenever possible, use protection software that aims to keep the internet a safe environment for you to surf.

Bnus: Security Planner

security planner

To close this article, Citizen Lab, an interdisciplinary laboratory at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto, Canada, offers a tool called Security Planner (thanks for the tip, Samir). The web service consists of just three questions so you can generate recommendations on how to keep your data more secure. Detail: no information is shared or stored on the site.

The questions consist of highlighting which devices you usually use that store any personal data, such as Android and iOS phones, emails, social networks, PCs, among others. Then, for some possible situations where your data may be at risk, such as downloading viruses or malware accidentally, if people around you can see what's on your device's screen, and so on. Finally, you mark what you may be most concerned with in the digital universe, like knowing how governments access your data, how to become anonymous on the internet, etc.

In the end, Security Planner shows you some options of what you can do to make your data more secure, always starting with what the site considers a priority. Each item also comes with a brief description of what makes that practice important, in addition to a mini-tutorial on how to enable it and links related to that subject.

With information: Calendarr, Wikipedia (1, 2, 3), Your Valley

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