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Data Protection Day - January 28th

Published date: 24 Jan 2024

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January 28th commemorates Data Protection Day, a global event intended to raise awareness about the significance of respecting privacy, securing data and fostering trust.

The annual celebration of all things privacy and data protection was first introduced by the Council of Europe on April 26th, 2006. It is celebrated on January 28th each year to commemorate Convention 108
– the first legally binding international treaty on data protection signed in 1981. 

Since the inception of data protection day, the landscape of global data protection laws has changed. Among the introduction of data protection laws, a significant one for the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered into force on 25th May 2018. The GDPR in short is a privacy regulation ensuring that organisations handle personal data responsibly. It gives individuals control over their information, mandates transparent data practices, and imposes penalties for non-compliance - standing guard as a crucial defender of our personal information in an age where data security is paramount.

Despite Brexit, those organisations which are based in the UK and provide services to individuals in the EU are not only subject to the UK GDPR (essentially the EU GDPR incorporated into UK law), but also the GDPR. Both regulations are currently similar but potential reforms and the expiration of the UK GDPR by December 31st, 2023, could lead to future differences between the two frameworks.

The West Group of Companies takes our legal obligations under both the UK and EU GDPR seriously in addition to demonstrating full transparency concerning the processing of personal data, as per our employee privacy notice and general privacy notice (copies are available from our Data Protection Officer). Here are a few of the other things we’ve implemented to ensure the security of your personal data and the personal data of those we come into contact with: 
  • Multifactor Authentication (MFA) - manages logins for all Office 365 applications.
  • Trend micro – scans all incoming emails and attachments for viruses, ransomware and phishing emails. 
  • Todyl - constantly scanning our network looking for Ransomware that is in a dormant state plus looking for login attempts from geographical locations that we would not normally expect to see like China, Russia etc.
Despite there being an onus on organisations to have measures in place in order to protect individuals, as consumers, we can still take steps to keep our data that little bit more secure. Here are a few things we can do to stay protected: 
  • Guard your digital identity: Be mindful of where you share your personal information and whom with - be cautious about what information you share online
  • Think before you click: Don’t click on any promotional links sent via email or SMS - rather type the URL of the website directly into your browser or, if on mobile, directly via the app
  • Never reuse: Never reuse the same password between different sites - implement software that generates unique passwords
  • Be mindful: Remember that your computer or mobile device can contract a virus or malware at any point of you being on a website or app - practice sensitive caution at all times
  • Always use a VPN: Where possible, use a trusted Virtual Private Network (VPN) when using publicly-available (and potentially insecure) Wi-Fi networks
  • Back up often: Keep your data backed up regularly, so that you don’t lose it if your device or storage is ever compromised
  • Shop smart: Always do your research on a store before purchasing and look for assurances that your transaction is secure and payment details kept safely

We wish you a wonderful Data Protection Day, and should you have any questions, feel free to contact the Data Protection Officer: