Police Digital Security Centre announces support for Data Protection / Privacy Day 2021

Data Protection / Privacy Day is a global effort - taking place annually on January 28th - that generates awareness about the importance of privacy, highlights easy ways to protect personal information and reminds organisations that privacy is good for business.

As technology evolves and the coronavirus pandemic continues to influence how consumers interact with businesses online, data collection practices are becoming increasingly unavoidable, making it imperative that companies act responsibly.

Neil Sinclair, National Cyber Lead for the Police Digital Security Centre, comments: “Since March 20th we have seen increasing attacks on our personal information, including our information held by commercial concerns.

“Spending ever more time on internet-connected devices has also increased our vulnerability to revealing private details inadvertently and this has been exacerbated by many people accessing work-related data and educational platforms via relatively insecure home networks.

“It is essential that we protect personal information as if it were the Crown Jewels. The Police Digital Security Centre is proud to support this annual event, to help everyone protect the important stuff – confidently, safely and, for the most part, at no expense.”

Data Protection

The following tips can help guide individuals and businesses to better data privacy practices:

  • For Individuals:

    • Personal info is like money: Value it. Protect it. Personal information, such as your purchase history, IP address, or location, has tremendous value to businesses – just like money. Make informed decisions about whether or not to share your data with certain businesses by considering the amount of personal information they are asking for, and weighing it against the benefits you may receive in return.

    • Keep tabs on your apps. Many apps ask for access to personal information, such as your location, contacts list and photo album, before you can use their services. Be thoughtful about who gets that information, and wary of apps that require access to information that is not required or relevant for the services they are offering. Delete unused apps on your internet-connect devices and keep others secure by performing updates.

    • Manage your privacy settings. Check the privacy and security settings on web services and apps and set them to your comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application or browser you use will have different features to limit how and with whom you share information.

  • For Businesses: 
  • If you collect it, protect it. Data breaches can not only lead to great financial loss, but a loss in reputation and customer trust. Follow reasonable security measures to keep individuals’ personal information safe from inappropriate and unauthorised access. Make sure the personal data you collect is processed in a fair manner and only collected for relevant and legitimate purposes.

  • Consider adopting a privacy framework. Build privacy into your business by researching and adopting a privacy framework to help you manage risk and create a culture of privacy in your organisation.

  • Conduct an assessment of your data collection practices. Understand which privacy laws and regulations apply to your business. Educate your employees of their and your organisation’s obligations to protecting personal information.

  • Transparency builds trust. Be open and honest about how you collect, use and share consumers’ personal information. Think about how the consumer may expect their data to be used and design settings to protect their information by default. Communicate clearly and concisely to the public what privacy means to your organisation and the steps you take to achieve and maintain privacy.

  • Maintain oversight of partners and vendors. If someone provides services on your behalf, you are also responsible for how they collect and use your consumers’ personal information.

  • Use the Police Digital Security Centre’s four-part Brexit Data Protection checklist to identify some of the headline issues and resolve them https://www.policedsc.com/security-advice/compliance/brexit-data-protection

The Police Digital Security Centre (PDSC) is part of Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, a police-owned, not-for-profit organisation that works on behalf of the Police Service throughout the UK to deliver a wide range of crime prevention initiatives to reduce crime, as well as acting as a catalyst to bring together public and private sector organisations to create safer communities.

As well as law enforcement, the PDSC works in partnership with industry, government and academia in support of the Government’s ambition to make the UK one of the safest places to do business online.

The PDSC is focused on helping SMEs reduce their vulnerability to cyber-crime and fraud by raising awareness about the most common types of cyber-crime and the simple steps they can take to protect themselves. All advice and guidance is consistent with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

The PDSC’s Digitally Aware certification scheme, designed in collaboration with BSI (the British Standards Institute), is aimed at helping SMEs reduce their vulnerability to cyber crime and promote those businesses who have taken the first step towards better cyber security. With an SME being hacked on average once every 19 seconds in the UK, and 41% of UK consumers claiming they will never return to a business that has had a security breach, investing in cyber security has never been more important.

The Digitally Aware certification can be completed through a simple online assessment in just 15 minutes. The assessment helps test the resilience of the business to the most common types of cyber crime and businesses are provided with a tailored report based on the assessment, which contains specific recommendations of action in accordance with the latest Government and police guidance. Businesses who achieve the Digitally Aware accreditation receive a certificate valid for 12 months.

For more information on the Digitally Aware certification scheme, visit: www.policedsc.com/smes

For more information about the PDSC visit: www.policedsc.com