5 tips for securing your data on Data Privacy Day

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January 28 is Data Privacy Day, a day recognized by the United States, Canada and 27 countries in Europe as a way to build greater awareness around data security and data protection best practices. In honor of today, we’re sharing some of our top tips for keeping your data protected and secure.

  1. Encrypt it: Last week Gigaom published an article about a leaked document by the U.S National Intelligence Council, which stated that encryption is the “best defense” to protect data. Encryption is one of the most useful solutions that businesses can deploy. The next generation of secure cloud messaging tools take the complexity out of security and add productivity features that help ensuring end users don’t ignore or disable the tools that are designed to protect them. Today’s data encryption solutions are much easier to use and more tightly integrated to existing email systems, so using them to protect business data just makes good sense.
  1. Don’t make security complex for your end users: While human error and inadequate security solutions are the cause of the vast majority of privacy breaches, forcing your employees to learn new applications will only work against you. Many people are already overwhelmed by existing technologies and don’t want more on their plates. The best way to drive adoption is by adding security tools that work with the systems people already use – like email and webmail on the desktop, smartphones and tablets. Security tools are only beneficial if they are being used, so they must be intuitive and easy to incorporate into the daily workflow.
  1. Move your data to the Cloud: The cloud isn’t the problem, it’s the solution. As far back as 2010, an Aberdeen Group report found that cloud-based solutions incurred fewer security risks than on-premise software. The research highlighted that companies that don’t store information in the cloud may putting themselves at greater risk for malware incidents and data loss than companies that do use cloud solutions. Fast-forward five years and the cloud has only continued to build a compelling case for data protection. Today, cloud services are scalable and well positioned to address the increased complexity of security and compliance requirements.
  1. Learn what data jurisdiction means for your business: Enhanced federal privacy legislation introduced in Australia, Singapore, Germany, and Malaysia, to name a few, as well as the impending EU Data Protection Directive, are the beginning of a global shift toward greater data transparency. Today’s business owners now prefer – and often must ensure – that their data is being stored domestically before any commitment to solution vendors can be made. It is important to know where your data lives and who has access to it. Failure to comply can result in costly fines and reputation damage.
  1. Don’t use dumb passwords: While this may sound logical, according to Splashdata’s 2014 list of stolen passwords, the top five stolen passwords in 2014 were “123456”, “password”, “12345”, “12345678” and “qwerty”. Seriously. Sometimes security is complex and other times we are all just lazy.
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