European Privacy Day: tips to protect your data in a hyperconnected world

MADRID, Jan 28. (Portaltic/EP) –

This Friday, January 28, the European Privacy Day and experts in the field agree that protecting personal data will be “one of the greatest challenges” that companies and individuals are going to face in the hyperconnected world to which society is heading in the coming years.

“In the digital age, data, and more specifically personal data, is playing a key role in this new economy. Companies and governments acquire knowledge and evolve their decision-making processes based on their analysis,” explains Javier Aznar, Cybersecurity and Privacy partner at KPMG in Spain.

In this context, a series of recommendations take on special significance, which -according to Aznar- have to start from “the importance of safeguarding the privacy of individuals”. Therefore, there must be a clear commitment from companies to protect this data and, in this regard, “there is still work to be done”.

According to the report ‘Current status of corporate mobile data security in Spain’, carried out by the company Kingston, almost 80 percent of companies allocate 7 percent or less of the total IT department budget to remedy these cybersecurity problems.

Private users also do not pay the necessary attention to privacy, as Javier Aznar adds, who shares a decalogue of advice prepared by KPMG experts to help improve the protection of this data.

PASSWORDS, TRAINING AND DIGITAL ETHICS

The first tip may seem obvious, but it is still one of the main reasons for the increase in security breaches. It is about changing and managing passwords. At this point, experts recommend avoid using the same keys for all services, look for robust combinations and modify them from time to time.

In the same way, from KPMG they advocate for better training, both at the private level and at the business level, now that with teleworking many employees have to access the company network from their own homes, complicating the work of those responsible for the IT area.

One of the mantras to follow by any person is that of “think before act“. “When you receive an ’email’ that seems suspicious of being ‘phishing’, you have to thoroughly analyze that email or SMS before clicking on any link or providing a private key,” cybersecurity experts detail.

On the other hand, they recommend studying how different companies deal with privacy and digital ethics before sharing data with them. One of the ways to review these practices is to turn to their privacy policies, which must be public.

WIFI NETWORKS AND ONLINE PURCHASES

In this decalogue of tips also accessing public WiFi networks is discouraged, which are not usually encrypted; urge be careful when making purchases ‘online’ (only accessing secure stores); and users are encouraged to protect your devices. In this sense, they advocate proper maintenance of technological devices, updating their software when appropriate and reviewing the security of the applications that are downloaded.

At a business level, from the KPMG consultancy stand out the importance of having security certifications, since it can be “a great differentiating element” compared to other companies in the sector. Privacy is going to be one of the most relevant issues in the coming years, coinciding with the exploitation of data for commercial purposes, and this can be a competitive advantage for companies that know how to take advantage of it.

When it comes to social media, the premise is “not accept requests for access or friendship from people you don’t know,” in addition to do not post personal information. Actions as common as reporting the loss of a DNI to prevent identity theft are not as entrenched when this data is shared ‘online’. For this reason, the last piece of advice from the experts is to know your privacy rights in order to act accordingly and protect your personal data in an increasingly connected world.

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