Monday, January 24 to Friday, January 28, 2022
DATA PRIVACY WEEK: DATA PROTECTION & TIPS FOR STRONG PASSWORDS
Data Privacy Week is an international effort to encourage companies to respect privacy, secure data and enable (more) trust.
AWAREWAYS is putting the focus on strong passwords this week – with tips, advice and even an interactive password shooter.
Data Privacy Week
For 15 years, January 28 has been known in the EU as Data Protection Day, chosen on the date when the Data Protection Convention was signed by the Council of Europe in 1981. Its main purpose is to better inform citizens about their rights regarding the use of their personal data by governments, companies and other organizations.
The day is now “celebrated” worldwide and is called Data Privacy Day outside of Europe. The international effort to encourage companies to respect privacy, secure data and enable (more) trust has now evolved into an entire week.
“I don’t have anything to hide, do I?
Privacy stands for personal freedom, deciding for yourself who gets what information about you and the desire to be able to live unsupervised. In the context of information security we mainly talk about personal data and its protection: who has what information and why?
In Europe, the Privacy Act (the AVG in Dutch or General Data Protection Regulation in English) ensures that personal data is better protected. Organizations have serious responsibilities and are strictly monitored for it, with potentially hefty fines when rules are insufficiently complied with. In addition, there is an explicit section on information disclosure: companies and governments must be able to explain in clear language what data they use, while we as consumers are given stronger privacy rights.
The importance of strong passwords
Everyone finds it difficult to come up with a good and strong password. Logical, because we have many different accounts at home and at work and the requirements for a strong password seem to get stricter and stricter. They must be longer, more complex and contain a mandatory combination of letters, numbers and special characters.
These strict requirements are there for a reason. Passwords are the access to your e-mail, your digital workplace and all your accounts online and therefore a popular target for criminals. It is therefore crucial to come up with a strong and especially long password that you do not use for multiple accounts.
Passwords and password managers
A strong (= unique and sufficiently long) password does not have to be complicated, like ‘VdL_84H*-@0qR’. On the contrary, three random words or a short phrase are just as smart. For example, choose ‘frypan-COOKIETIN-racecar’: 24 characters, a mix of upper and lower case letters, two punctuation marks; virtually uncrackable.
Tip: Use a password manager like LastPass or 1Password. These are apps that work as digital vaults, locked with one overarching password. You can use them to store your strong passwords, and to come up with new passwords automatically.
Nowadays there are also many anti-virus softwares and VPN clients that offer a package including password manager. A kind of all-in-one security package for the home! Examples are NordVPN and Bitdefender.
Security & privacy at home
You don’t always realize it, but privacy is also extremely important behind your own front door. Insecure networks, smart webcams that are taken over remotely, tech giants that listen in on your smart speakers: in a smart home, more and more equipment is connected to the Internet.
Every day you process, analyze and duplicate information, but how do you do that in a safe and ethical way? AWAREWAYS trains employees of organizations to work information-aware (cybersecurity, privacy, compliance and integrity) in all their work – but also privately.
By deploying experts in the field of psychology, communication, gamification, didactics and design, we develop awareness programs for organizations such as Heineken, the Stimuleringsfonds, Ministry of Justice & Security, Tax and Customs Administration, Allianz, Schiphol Airport and Volksbank. Communication (storytelling), design and creativity play a crucial role in our approach.