You probably don’t know this, but today is the second annual “World Data Privacy Day”. People and companies from the United States, Canada, and 27 European countries will celebrate Data Privacy Day today. Here are a few things to consider and help your own personal data privacy practices and maybe a few tips for around the office.

1 – Start today to implement a process that reminds you to change your webmail, voice mail, online banking and other web based account passwords frequently. Many companies have a policy for changing passwords every 30 days, your personal accounts should change at a minimum of 4 times a year.

2 – Look around your desk, counters and bookshelves – clean up any lose papers that might contain sensitive or personal information. File these in your desk or recycle them in secure shredding boxes found in many offices.

3 – Consider requesting your annual free credit report. There are three services in Canada and every year you can request one free copy from each. Do this every four months and rotate between them – the data should be almost the same, and this can save a lot of problems if you catch inaccuracies early: (List is Canada Only)

* Trans Union of Canada –
* Northern Credit Bureaus (Experian) –
* Equifax –

4 – Review the security on your Social Networking accounts (i.e. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter), have you limited personal data to just your friend, relatives?

5 – Practice good office security, Remember to lock your computer when your not at it. This is very important as many companies have frequent visitors in the office and your desktop is an easy target to gather sensitive information from.

6 – Uninstall old applications from your home and work computers. Often these programs are no longer supported and left open to software vulnerabilities that might get exploited and leave your computer vulnerable. If you don’t use them get rid of them.

7 – Manually check that your anti-virus and malware detection programs are up to date, and a full system scan is set to run at least weekly. Rogers and Bell offer free AV to their internet clients – if you use a different ISP, check they may provide free AV too.

8 – Install a router and/or personal firewall on your home computers. Windows has a built in Firewall tool – check that it is running.

9 – Clear the cookies on your Internet browsers.

* IE: Tools > Internet Options > General > Browsing History > Delete… > Delete all
* FireFox: Tools > Clear Private Data… > check the appropriate Boxes > Clear Data now.

10 – Remember to practice safe privacy practices everyday.

Happy World Data Privacy Day.