Supporting Privacy Awareness Week 2023

Hamilton Locke, together with our allied business, Source, is proud to support Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) taking place this week, from 1 to 7 May 2023. This annual campaign, led by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), emphasises the importance of protecting personal information and getting ‘Back to Basics’ when it comes to privacy.

The message behind the ‘Back to Basics’ theme for PAW this year is that while our information and technology landscape has become a lot more complicated, privacy remains fundamental. For organisations and government, there are key, simple steps to take to protect the personal information they hold.  For individuals, there are simple yet fundamental steps you can take to keep your personal information safe, whether it’s your own or someone else’s.

Top 10 tips for organisations

The OAIC has identified 10 tips that organisations can apply to keep personal information safe. To see more visit the OAIC’s Privacy Awareness Week website.

  1. Know your obligations – Organisations should understand their Privacy Act obligations, especially during periods of growth or change.
  2. Have a privacy plan – Organisations should develop and implement a privacy management plan to ensure privacy is embedded into the organisations practices.
  3. Appoint privacy champions – Assign a staff member/s to maintain a strong privacy culture.
  4. Assess privacy risks – Undertake privacy impact assessments for projects that involve collecting and handling personal data.
  5. Only collect or keep what you need – Organisations should ensure they only collect the data they need and de-identify or destroy data that is no longer necessary.
  6. Secure personal information – Organisations should have systems in place to prevent the misuse, loss and unauthorised access and disclosure of personal information.
  7. Simplify your privacy policy – Review your privacy policy to ensure it is easily accessible and written in plain language.
  8. Train your staff – Include privacy training and refreshers for all staff.
  9. Prepare for data breaches – Develop a data breach response plan that includes a strategy to contain, assess and manage an incident throughout its lifecycle. See our article on how to prepare for a data breach here.
  10. Review your practices – Review privacy practices and policies regularly to keep up to date with evolving community expectations, risks and the law.

Top tips for individuals

  1. Your personal information is yours ­– First and foremost, treat your personal information like the valuable asset it is. Don’t share it without a good reason, and only share what’s absolutely necessary. We always recommend being mindful of who you share your personal information with and why.
  2. Update your privacy settings across your devices – It’s important to regularly update your privacy settings. Take a moment to check what you’re agreeing to when it comes to websites, apps, and devices. Many of them share your personal information by default, so it’s crucial to review and adjust your settings accordingly.
  3. Keep security updates up-to-date – When it comes to security updates for your devices and apps, make the most of them by installing them promptly when they’re rolled out. These updates often include important fixes that can help protect your personal information from potential threats.
  4. No more “password1” – Using strong passphrases and enabling multi-factor authentication is another essential step in safeguarding your personal information. We recommend creating a passphrase made up of four or more random words for a strong and unique password. And adding an extra layer of security through multi-factor authentication can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your accounts.
  5. Take action when a data breach affects you – In the unfortunate event that your privacy is breached, it’s crucial to act quickly to minimise the risk of harm. Steps you can take include changing your passphrases, being vigilant for scams, and checking your credit report and financial accounts for any signs of suspicious activity.

Need more information – remember, you can always visit the OAIC the Australian Cyber Security Centre website for more helpful tips on protecting your privacy.

As your trusted source for privacy and cybersecurity advice, Source and Hamilton Locke are here to help you navigate your privacy obligations, and support you in keeping your personal information safe.

Let’s prioritise privacy during Privacy Awareness Week and beyond.

#PrivacyMatters #PrivacyAwarenessWeek