Education key to keeping private data private
Kiwis need to educate themselves on how to keep their private data private
Privacy is a fundamental human right.
Privacy legislation has put individuals’ rights, and organisations’ accountability for processing personal data, in the spotlight across multiple regions and countries, ranging from the EU GDPR, to the California CCPA, to New Zealand’s own Privacy Bill which is still progressing through parliament.
It is appropriate for Kiwis to reflect upon what Privacy truly means - in today’s hyper-connected and hyper-exposed world - to individuals, consumers, professionals, parents, minors, employers, public and private administrators, and any other ‘role’ in society.
“There is no privacy without cyber security” is by now a well-known refrain, but it needs to be conscientiously and constantly, remembered and applied, in order to be effective.
Just as our behaviour as pedestrians impacts our personal road safety, so does our online behaviour effect our personal privacy.
“We can all play a part in ensuring the true convergence of privacy and security, this will be critical to technological innovation and, importantly, the building of trust,” says Dyann Heward-Mills, Chief Executive Officer at Heward-Mills and NortonLifeLock’s Global Data Protection Officer.
Last year, New Zealand’s Ministry of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media published our Cybersecurity Strategy 2019 and advocated good cyber-hygiene for a safe online approach, a guideline ever so current to the present day:
“New Zealand is becoming a digital nation. Cyber security is not simply an IT issue – it’s critical for every business and for every person living, working or visiting New Zealand. New Zealand’s cyber security policy is therefore about making the most of the opportunities that the internet provides and protecting the things most important to us.”
And just as professional pickpockets will exploit any distraction or lack of good measures by the public, cyber-attackers have trained themselves to take advantage of anything people do, or don’t do, in their daily internet activity.
For example, people click on links and open email attachments from unknown senders – sometimes as an automatic reflex, other times because of curiosity, maybe enticed by a well-crafted teasing text, compelling users to ‘find-out.’
Conversely, people don’t always back up their files –– which exposes them to ransomware. If you’re a victim of ransomware, having a recent backup allows you to restore your data encrypted by cybercriminals. Not having backup may push you to pay a ransom, moreover without any guarantee that you will be able to decrypt what was compromised.
Let’s therefore resolve at the beginning of 2020, to adapt to the risks of the cyber environment, and to adopt a healthful cyber-hygiene and security posture for ourselves and our families.