What is Data Privacy?

Data privacy refers to the protection of personal data from those who should not have access to it. Tomorrow (January 28) is National Data Privacy Day and the National Cybersecurity Alliance publishes a multitude of information on data privacy each year.  

Every action we do online generates data. Examples of personal data would be a social security number, driver’s license number, and health-related information. With so many aspects of our lives taking place online, it’s easy to forget about the steps we can take to keep our data safe.  

Here are a few tips for keeping your data safe online: 

  • Understand privacy settings: Security and privacy settings vary for each website/app, and it can often be a lot to manage. The National Cybersecurity Alliance offers information on a variety of popular platforms’ privacy policies and statements.
  • Build strong passwords: Try to use unique and long passwords, such as sentences or phrases that you will remember. You can also try out alternative ways of spelling words, such as replacing letters with symbols and numbers (replacing an with a $).
  • Use Multi-factor Authentication (MFA): By using MFA you are adding an additional layer of security to your account, further protecting your sensitive information. Multi-factor authentication requires two verification methods to log in. It is strongly recommended to enable MFA on your accounts (banking, social media, etc.) if it’s available. 

Following the security practices above, for both work and personal accounts, will help to keep your data safe as well as the University’s confidential data. If you believe something has put the University’s confidential data at risk, please contact the Information Security Office.