Data Privacy Day is an international effort held annually on January 28 to spread awareness about data privacy and educate individuals on how to secure their personal information. It also works to encourage businesses to respect privacy and be more transparent about how they collect, store and use data. This year, Data Privacy Day 2021, spotlights the value of information and how to “Own Your Privacy” and “Respect Privacy”.
Data privacy and protecting personal information is important to Rowan County. Today we conduct much of our lives on the internet and on our connected devices, yet few people understand that enormous amounts of personal information is collected and shared. This data can be stored indefinitely, and our personal information can be used in both beneficial and unwelcome ways. Even seemingly innocuous information - such as your favorite restaurants or items you purchase online - can be used to make inferences about your socioeconomic status, preferences and more.
Personal information, such as your purchase history, IP address, or location, has tremendous value to businesses – just like money. Make informed decisions about whether or not to share your data with certain businesses by considering the amount of personal information they are asking for and weighing it against the benefits you may receive in return.
Many apps ask for access to personal information, such as your geographic location, contacts list and photo album, before you can use their services. Be thoughtful about who gets that information, and wary of apps that require access to information that is not required or relevant for the services they are offering. Delete unused apps on your internet-connect devices and keep others secure by performing updates.
Check the privacy and security settings on web services and apps and set them to your comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application or browser you use will have different features to limit how and with whom you share information. Get started with NCSA’s Manage Your Privacy Settings page.
Rowan County is among hundreds of #PrivacyAware Champions nationwide who have committed to empowering individuals and businesses to better manage privacy and protect data. For more information about Data Privacy Day, visit staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-day.