Data hacks, election interference, privacy concerns, denial of service attacks…our hyper-connected online world has opened us up to vulnerabilities we couldn’t have imagined a decade ago. But now we live with the threat—and headlines—on an almost daily basis. And that can make us numb to the seriousness of the dangers because we start to ignore the threat, get tired of the noise, and grow complacent about our data and security, both at home and at work.
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) wants to make sure we’re not complacent but paying attention. When we’re at the point that the Marriott hotel data breach that went on for four years hardly raises an eyebrow, we are not vigilant and therefore even more vulnerable, and the NCSA aims to prevent that by helping both individuals and organizations to “respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust.”
Be Part of Data Privacy Day January 28, 2019
As part of that effort, the NCSA promotes Data Privacy Day. Data Privacy Day is an international event held annually on January 28 to raise awareness about how personal information is used, collected and shared in a digital world. The day is also intended to inspire people to take action, at home and as part of their business. (As it gets closer, you can follow Data Privacy Day on Twitter at #PrivacyAware.)
If you’d like to learn more about the issues and the steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, or your business, there are several ways you can be part of Data Privacy Day. You can even become a Data Privacy Day Champion, either as an individual or as an organization.
You can also watch the day’s main event live streaming on January 28 from 2:00 to 4:15 p.m. PST. The event will stream live from LinkedIn in San Francisco, Calif., with NCSA and privacy leaders discussing the future of data privacy. Participating experts will talk about:
- A New Era in Privacy
- Improving Your Company’s Privacy Posture
- Security and Privacy in the Cloud
- The Future of Privacy and Breakthrough Technologies
Data privacy is required all the time, however, and the goal is for you to focus on data privacy 365 days per year, not just on January 28. That’s why the NCSA offers the website Stay Safe Online to help people and companies be safe and keep their information secure. The website is full of information ranging from protecting your family to special advice for small businesses to big topics like GDPR. It’s well worth a look because it has something for everyone, with information like:
Make Every Day Data Privacy Day with a Cyber Security Career
You can also focus on data privacy all year round by pursuing a career in cybersecurity, or by learning how to better protect your business. Cybercrime is on the rise but we lack the trained professionals needed to fight back. And because people are unaware and uninformed about just how vulnerable they are in this online world, those cybersecurity professionals are that much more vital to everyone’s safety.
It also pays well! Entry-level cybersecurity professionals can earn $65,000 in their first job after earning a certification. From there, the pay goes up, with a median annual salary of $90,000 and peak salaries reaching $380,000.
And starting a career in cybersecurity is as easy as earning a certification—no college degree required, no extensive computer science experience needed. The cybersecurity field is complex, and so offers several types of certifications. Some are intended for seasoned professionals who need to increase their knowledge, but several are appropriate for those new to the field seeking entry-level jobs.
As for getting started in the field, there are several types of certifications to choose from, including:
- CompTIA certification
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification
- Certified Network Defender (CND) certification
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification
- Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) certification
Each type of certification has a different focus, so it’s worth looking into each and asking questions to find the best fit as you get started on this new career path. Once you’re started in cybersecurity, you’ll quickly discover the field offers many different possibilities, and you can choose your next certification based on which one interests you most—or is most needed by your employer.
Whether or not you decide on a career in cybersecurity, data privacy should still be an everyday concern. Marking Data Privacy Day on January 28, 2019, in some way—perhaps by watching the live stream, updating your software on your device or computer, or reviewing safety protocols with your family members or employees—might help to make information security top of mind for you and those around you. And that might make every day a safer one for all.