In a world where apps, products and devices are all powered by your personal data, creating awareness and enabling people to protect their data privac is more important than ever. Data Privacy Day is around the corner (January 28), and we’re happy to support this day dedicated to empowering indivudals and asking businesses to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust.
At Mozilla, every day is Data Privacy Day. What do I mean by this? Respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust are built into the core of Mozilla, our products and everything we do. This is because we aren’t your average tech company. We’re also the champions of the internet and protectors of internet health. We fight to advance and protect the internet as part of our mission because we believe that the internet is a shared global public resource that needs to remain open and accessible to all.
Mozilla has a lot to share for Data Privacy Day.
On Jan. 26, we launched the new Firefox Focus privacy-centric browser to the world, available in many languages and with more search choices. And, the latest version of Firefox released this week adds clear warnings for users on potentially insecure sites that collect passwords.
We just launched the first version of the Internet Health Report, with privacy and security as the first indicator of a healthy internet. A healthy internet is private and secure. Internet users should be able to have greater choice over what information they share with what organizations and for what benefit. They should have the freedom to express themselves online without unwarranted surveillance. And, they should be able to safeguard their information against attacks.
We asked the new U.S. presidential administration to prioritize the internet in their work, and specifically in the area of cybersecurity, because any of the most critical issues that affect internet users are related to cybersecurity.
We’ve advocated for, and done our part to fulfill, the responsibility that technology companies, governments and consumers all share to protect cybersecurity. There is a need for governments, tech companies and users to work together on topics like encryption, security vulnerabilities and surveillance.
We’ll continue to work with governments, companies and consumers to help protect data privacy and make the internet as secure as possible.
What can you do to protect your data privacy? To start, use trusted products like Firefox.
Personal information is shared across websites and apps, like breadcrumbs of your identity spread all over the web. It’s important to know how much any web service or app allows you to be in control of your data and experience and what their privacy practices are. You should also know how each of your devices, services, and accounts handles your private information.
You can better protect your data privacy on a daily basis by following some of these basic tips. You can also share these resources because they help create a more secure internet for the billions of people online.
- Lock down your login: Use strong passwords and the strongest authentication tools available to protect your online accounts and personal information. Richard Barnes has a post with more tips for better password security.
- Keep a clean machine: Make sure all your Internet connected devices, Web services, and apps are with up to date with the latest software and enable auto updates when you can. Updating your software was the top tip Mozilla gave you to protect your data last Data Privacy Day.
- Remember- Personal information is like money: Value it and protect it- everything from your location to purchase history. Be aware and in control of what information is shared about you online.
- When in doubt, throw it out: Cybercriminals are sneaky and often use links in email, social media, and ads to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, don’t click on it- delete it.
- Share with Care: Think before your post. Consider who will see the post and how it might be perceived, now or in the future. And, don’t post something about someone else that you wouldn’t want posted about yourself. Mozilla has some great tips about how to share without oversharing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Own Your Online Presence: Consider limiting how and with whom you share information online. Make sure to set your individual app and website privacy and security settings to meet your needs.
We believe privacy online is a fundamental right and that people should have transparency and control over their data. If users had choice and control around their data sharing, it would build more trust in the system as a whole.
If you are a business or developer that handles user data, you should always be working to create a more trusted relationship with your users around their data. Building trust with your users around their data doesn’t have to be complicated. But it does mean that you need to think about user privacy and security in every aspect of your product. Read Jishnu Menon’s post about Lean Data Practices for more information.
Many of the companies you engage with online ask for your trust without earning. You interact with them everyday but you can’t really tell whether they’ve got your back behind the scenes. They don’t give you meaningful choices over your privacy. They are trusted but not necessarily trustworthy. At Mozilla we strive to be both. Marshall Erwin has more to share about what it means to be a trusted and trustworthy company.
Happy Data Privacy Day!
Mozilla participated in the National Cyber Security Alliance’s event on Jan. 26 to talk more about how to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust. You can watch video from the event here and we’ll share a recap later.
We hope you find some helpful information here to help you be more privacy aware this Data Privacy Day.
About the Author
Denelle Dixon-Thayer is the chief legal and business officer at Mozilla.
The original version of this post appeared in the Mozilla blog on Jan. 26.