January 28 is always marked on my calendar because it's my sister's birthday, but now the calendar square shares space with another event-it's Data Privacy Day. According to the official Web site:
"Data Privacy Day is an international celebration of the dignity of the individual expressed through personal information. In this networked world, in which we are thoroughly digitized, with our identities, locations, actions, purchases, associations, movements, and histories stored as so many bits and bytes, we have to ask-who is collecting all of this-what are they doing with it-with whom are they sharing it? These are not questions for consumers and citizens alone-business operators must engage in this dialogue as well. They have to question whether they are complying with laws and regulations requiring consumer privacy protections. They know that customers have to trust their technologies and services before they will use and pay for them."
In honor of the day, Identity Theft 911 came up with advice on how to protect your online presence. The following are suggestions specifically for businesses; I've added links to IT Business Edge resources that will support your company's efforts to stay up-to-date on these security-savvy actions:
"-- Businesses should deploy a firewall that tracks network connections and application-level filters and firewalls that provide protection against Web-based attacks.
-- Develop a corporate security policy for every operational unit and perform annual security training of all employees.
-- Install central anti-virus software and anti-malware. Ensure that all host are receiving daily signature update.
-- Keep operating systems up-to-date, as well as installed applications with the latest security patches.
-- Be informed about network security trends. Security is not a product, but a process, and securing strategies are constantly changing."
Although we should be thinking about this more than once a year, I like the idea of having a day circled on my calendar specially to remind me to take stock of my business's privacy and security policies.