Today we’re talking about Data Privacy Day — specifically your personal data — and why it’s worth protecting! 

This annual event is held every January 28 to raise awareness of data privacy and protection. 

Data Privacy Day began in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe, which commemorates the January 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. 

This year’s theme for Data Privacy Day 2021 is looking at privacy through the lens of the various changes we’ve faced in the past (unbelievably challenging) year! 

The goal is to encourage individuals to “Own Your Privacy” by learning more about how to protect your valuable data online. 

The individual concept of “privacy” varies widely but protecting your data is important. If you think you have nothing to hide, then you’re letting tech companies determine when, how, and to what extent your information is sold. Who’s keeping a record on you? Do you even know what is being tracked and analyzed about who you are, where you shop, and how you think? As companies pursue even more precise data on potential customers, our browsing habits have never been more sliced, diced, and analyzed by tracking firms. 

If you’d like to get involved with Data Privacy Day 2021, here are some easy and free ways to participate this week:

  • Attend a webinar on data privacy. It’s FREE and you can hear from a range of experts on relevant topics, such as how COVID-19 has changed the digital landscape and where we as individuals and organizations can improve. 

This Data Privacy Day 2021 event will be held this Thursday, January 28 at 12pm ET. You can register here:

  • Become a Data Privacy Champion. Are you dedicated to respecting privacy, safeguarding data, and enabling trust? Ready to show your commitment? You can sign up here to show your support on behalf of your organization or school, or even as an individual. You can also see the full list of this year’s participants.
  • Update your privacy settings. From Peloton to HelloFresh, have you checked your privacy settings lately? Check the security settings on your different devices, applications, and browsers and limit how and with whom you share information. As part of this year’s events, NCSA put together a helpful page of direct links to update your privacy settings on the most popular websites and  platforms:
  • Own your online presence. Focusing on data privacy should extend all year, not just one week. Delete unused apps on your internet-connect devices and keep others secure by performing updates. Hold a family “tech talk” to discuss how each family member can protect their devices and information. Then, you can all see how you compare on this issue by taking a privacy or security quiz. Get started with the National Privacy Test and Google Phishing Quiz.

We hope these tips above help you to make informed decisions about whether or not to share your data with certain businesses. 

Our mission at Ghostery, after all, is to empower you to own your digital privacy. Always consider the amount of personal information companies are asking for and weigh it against the benefits you may receive in return. You can also try out the Ghostery browser extension, which makes your web browsing experience safer by detecting and blocking thousands of third-party data-tracking technologies.