Professionals and Economic Development Agencies Encourage Data Privacy

LARAMIE – CyberWyoming Alliance, Community Builders Inc., the Small Business Development Center, and Wyoming Manufacturing Works announce their commitment to Data Privacy Week 2023 by offering educational programs as champions of Data Privacy.

As champions, these organizations recognize and support the principle that all employees in any industry share the responsibility of being conscientious stewards of personal information.

Data Privacy Week is an annual expanded effort from Data Privacy Day — taking place from January 22 – 28, 2023. The goal of Data Privacy Week is to spread awareness about online privacy among individuals and organizations. The goal is twofold: to help citizens understand that they have the power to manage their data and to help organizations understand why it is important that they respect their users’ data.  

Each Wyoming organization is providing different educational materials and challenges during the week.

The CyberWyoming Alliance

The CyberWyoming Alliance challenges Wyoming citizens to review the security settings of three online accounts.  For quick reference, citizens can find links to popular security pages at https://staysafeonline.org/resources/manage-your-privacy-settings/.  Once the review is complete, citizens should email info@cyberwyoming.org with their name and address and the CyberWyoming Alliance will send them a webcam cover with a congratulatory letter.

“At the beginning of each year, we feel that reviewing your online banking security settings, as well as a couple of other online accounts is a good habit to develop,” said Patrick Wolfinbarger, Board Treasurer of CyberWyoming Alliance.

Wyoming Manufacturing Works

Manufacturing Works plans to focus on NIST’s (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Data Privacy Framework which is separated into 5 categories (Identify, Govern, Control, Communicate, Protect). Educational email blasts will be sent on a daily basis.

“Here at Manufacturing Works we are excited to support and promote National Data Privacy Week. In working with small and medium sized manufacturers we understand the importance of developing and maintaining a robust culture of data privacy within an organization. Running and operating a company is difficult enough without the added worry of what could happen if you’ve mishandled your customers’ data, which could result in a loss of trust in your company as well as potential financial repercussions. In conjunction with many other Data Privacy Champions around the country we hope to put more focus on being proactive about data privacy in hopes of making our companies more resilient in an ever-expanding data-centric marketplace,” said Sean Schaub, Account and Project Manager for Wyoming Manufacturing Works.

Community Builders Inc

Similarly, local governments are encouraged to further strengthen privacy protections for their local citizens and other constituents by Community Builders Inc.  Joe Coyne, who is leading a bootcamp for newly elected municipal leaders at the upcoming conference for the Wyoming Association of Municipalities, noted that local governments are obligated to protect constituent data.

“Privacy of constituent data is critical to municipalities and the people they serve.  Although our governments operate transparently, most public services need to be handled discreetly and efficiently.  Municipalities have gotten much better at providing services online, and along the way they have learned effective ways to protect the privacy of their constituents,” Coyne said.

Wyoming Small Business Development Center

The Wyoming SBDC, part of the network of America’s Small Business Development Centers, recognizes the challenges for small businesses to protect their computers, data and payment systems from accidental breaches, ransomware, where data is often taken and posted online, and from dedicated attacks aimed at stealing technologies and other critical business information, such as health records or financial information.  This recognition will be the focus of National Data Privacy Week for the SBDC.

“We try and meet our clients where they are at with keeping control of their information and help them get to where they need to be based the likely risks involved with what they have and how they operate.  There are many basic practices businesses can do to protect themselves and keep their private information and data safe.  In the end we are always learning how to do a better job of protecting private information both as businesses and individuals and Data Privacy Week gives everyone a chance to reflect on what we have accomplished and what still remains to be done” said Jim Drever, South Central Regional Director with the Wyoming SBDC and Ethical Hacker. 

The National Cybersecurity Alliance has offered the following themes to help guide individuals and businesses to better data privacy practices:

Data: The Story of You

All your online activity generates a trail of data. Websites, apps, and services collect data on your behaviors, interests, and purchases. Sometimes, this includes personal data, like your Social Security and driver’s license numbers. It can even include data about your physical self, like health data – think about how a smartwatch counts and records how many steps you take.

While it’s true that you cannot control how each byte of data about you and your family is shared and processed, you are not helpless! In many cases, you can control how you share your data with a few simple steps. Remember, your data is precious, and you deserve to be selective about who you share it with!

For Businesses: Respect Privacy

Respecting the privacy of your customers, staff, and all other stakeholders is critical for inspiring trust and enhancing reputation. According to the Pew Research Center, 79% of U.S. adults report being concerned about the way their data is being used by companies. By being open about how you use data and respecting privacy, you can stand out from your competition. 

Be transparent about how you collect, use, and share consumers’ personal information. Think about how the consumer may expect their data to be used. Design settings to protect their information by default. Communicate clearly and concisely to the public what privacy means to your organization, as well as the steps you take to achieve and maintain privacy. 

For more information about Data Privacy Week and how to get involved, visit https://staysafeonline.org/programs/data-privacy-week/.  

About the CyberWyoming Alliance
The CyberWyoming Alliance is a statewide, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Laramie whose mission is to increase cybersecurity awareness, education and outreach in communities across the State of Wyoming.  Information can be found at www.cyberwyoming.org/alliance or info@cyberwyoming.org.

About Community Builders Inc
Community Builders, Inc. is a Wyoming-based consulting firm.  Since 2009, CBI has provided training, planning, and economic development services to municipalities and counties throughout Wyoming.  https://www.consultcbi.com/

About the Small Business Development Center
The Wyoming SBDC Network is a partnership between the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Business Council, and the U.S. Small Business Administration offering business expertise and technical assistance to help you start, grow, reinvent, or exit your business.  As a member of the Wyoming’s Business Resource Network, we’ll make sure you get connected with the resources you need to succeed. https://www.wyomingsbdc.org/

About Wyoming Manufacturing Works
Wyoming Manufacturing Works promotes innovation, manufacturing, and industrial competitiveness, with the goal of building a stronger and more prosperous Wyoming through enhanced economic securities and an improved quality of life. As Wyoming’s NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) manufacturing extension partner center, Manufacturing Works assists Wyoming manufacturers, producers, and entrepreneurs in growing their revenues, increasing their productivity and performance, and strengthening their global competitiveness.  https://manufacturing-works.com

About Data Privacy Week

Data Privacy Week began as Data Privacy Day in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. Data Protection Day commemorates the Jan. 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. NCA, the nation’s leading nonprofit, public-private partnership promoting cybersecurity and privacy education and awareness, leads the effort in North America each year. For more information, visit https://staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-week/.

About the National Cybersecurity Alliance

The National Cybersecurity Alliance is a non-profit organization on a mission to create a more secure, interconnected world. We advocate for the safe use of all technology and educate everyone on how best to protect ourselves, our families, and our organizations from cybercrime. We create strong partnerships between governments and corporations to amplify our message and to foster a greater “digital” good.  For more information, please visit https://staysafeonline.org.

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