Here’s How to Protect Yourself — and Celebrate Data Privacy Week

By Plumas Bank January 19, 2023 Cybersecurity

Quick quiz: What do the following seemingly random things have in common?

a.    How many steps you walked this week
b.    The name of your first pet
c.    Where you most recently vacationed 

Answer: They all are likely part of your digital footprint — the information you’ve shared (knowingly or not) with apps, businesses and your social network. 

When you think of the knowledge our apps and devices have about us and our most intimate facts, it’s easy to get a bit creeped out. And while that’s not the goal of Data Privacy Week, that’s also not not the goal. 

“It’s important to note that everyone has a responsibility to protect their personal data,” said Aaron Boigon, Plumas Bank Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer.

Boigon acknowledges that Data Privacy Week is designed to spread awareness about online privacy among individuals and organizations, but emphasizes that each one of Plumas Bank’s personal and business clients can take steps to protect themselves from bad actors threatening to use your information maliciously. 

Ways to Keep Your Data Safe

“A few simple ways to protect your data are to create strong passwords and change them often, install trusted computer security software, and check your social media accounts privacy settings regularly,” he advised.

Looking for more information about these and other data-protection tips and best practices? Plumas Bank has you covered with the following helpful resources:

•    First, here’s a simple, practical guide to creating safe passwords.
•    And another one, a bit more context about the need for long, strong passwords
•    You can learn about the value of enabling multi-factor authorization
•    And finally, dive into the seedy underbelly of phishing practices.

Further, Plumas Bank shows its commitment to data privacy by registering as a Champion with the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA), supporting the principle that all organizations share the responsibility of being conscientious stewards of personal information.

“Securing our clients’ data is a top priority at Plumas Bank,” Boigon said. 

The National Cybersecurity Alliance — a non-profit organization advocating for the safe use of technology through education on best practices to avoid cybercrime — cites Pew research showing that 79% of U.S. adults report being concerned about the way their data is being used by companies

How Businesses Can Protect Consumer Data

With this research in mind, one of its themes for this year’s Data Privacy Week is “Respect Privacy,” a guide for businesses offering tips about data collection best practices that respect data privacy and promote transparency. 

These include: 
•    Be transparent about how you collect, use, and share consumers’ personal information. 
•    Think about how the consumer may expect their data to be used. 
•    Design settings to protect their information by default. 
•    Communicate clearly and concisely to the public what privacy means to your organization, as well as the steps you take to achieve and maintain privacy.  

On a more personal level, the Alliance reminds individuals through its second Data Privacy Week theme, “The Story of You,” that all online activity generates a trail of data. 

“Websites, apps, and services collect data on your behaviors, interests, and purchases,” it advises. “Sometimes, this includes personal data, like your Social Security and driver's license numbers…While it's true that you cannot control how each byte of data about you and your family is shared and processed, you are not helpless! In many cases, you can control how you share your data with a few simple steps.”

And Plumas Bank is taking an active role in sharing insights about how consumers can take control of their data. In addition to steps like being vigilant about passwords, software and privacy settings, Boigon adds that Plumas Bank will be sharing more tips and tricks with its audiences during Data Privacy Week. 

“Throughout this week, follow Plumas Bank’s social media (Facebook and LinkedIn) for tips on protecting your privacy,” he adds. 

About Data Privacy Week

Data Privacy Week has a long history, beginning as Data Privacy Day in January 2008 in the United States and Canada. It commemorates the Jan. 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. NCA leads the effort in North America each year. 

If you’re looking for more information from the NCA about staying safe online, the Alliance has 
created a collection of digital resources. There you can explore articles and other resources you need to raise awareness at home, work, school, or throughout your community.

Stay In the Know

Get more tips, insights and expert advice about all facets of banking — including cybersecurity and data protection — by signing up for Plumas Bank’s e-newsletter.