Data Privacy Day

Rebecca Laudermilk, Vice President

Data Privacy Day is an international holiday observed in the United States, Canada and 47 European countries annually on January 28th.  The purpose of this day is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection for consumers and businesses worldwide.  Each year a livestream event is held on January 28th to provide valuable topics and tips to safeguard your privacy.  The 2020 topic, “A Vision for the Future” can be viewed starting at 1:00 PM EST at https://staysafeonline.org.

Our personal information should be considered like money—something we value and protect.  It is so easy to connect to almost anything we want or need these days through our personal devices.  From contacting family and friends, sharing photos, and tracking health and financial information, our devices contain a wealth of personal information about us.  Without strong security measures in place, a fraudster can easily intercept and use your personal information.

STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ is the global online safety awareness campaign to help all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online. Their website, https://www.stopthinkconnect.org/  offers basic tips and advice to safeguard your privacy. Below are just a few of the ways you can stay safe online:

Keep a clean device

  • It is important to have the latest security software, web browser, and operating system to defend against viruses, malware, and other threats.
  • In addition to your computer, smartphones, gaming systems, and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.
  • USBs and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware.  Use your security software to scan them.

Protect your personal information

  • Protect your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys, or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device.  Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect accounts such as email, banking and social media.
  • Make your password a sentence that is at least 12 characters long.  Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember.
  • Unique passwords for every account helps to stop cybercriminals.  At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure your critical accounts have the strongest passwords.

Connect with care

  • Links in emails, social media posts and online advertising are often how cybercriminals try to steal your personal information. If something looks suspicious, delete it!
  • Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your device.
  • When banking and shopping, make sure the site is security enabled.  You can look for web addresses with https:// or “shttp”//” which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information.  Http:// is not secure.

Be Web Wise

  • Keep up with new ways to stay safe online: Check trusted websites for the latest information, and share with friends, family, and colleagues and encourage them to practice web safety too.
  • Be wary of communications that encourage you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true or ask for personal information.
  • Protect your valuable work, music, photos and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.

Own Your Online Presence

  • Know what’s being shared online. Set the privacy and security settings on web services and devices to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s OK to limit how and with whom you share information.  
  • Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what a post reveals, who might see it and how it could be perceived now and in the future.

No matter the type of device used, we should all be more vigilant in practicing safe, online habits to safeguard our personal information.  At Bank of Lexington we value the safety and confidentiality of customer information. That’s why we offer advanced security features for all our online and mobile platforms. Give us a call or stop by one of our branches to learn more about how we keep your information safe.