Embracing data protection

Last Updated on Thursday, 2 February, 2023 at 10:55 am by Andre Camilleri

Jean Pierre Xuereb is a senior analyst in the Bank of Valletta’s Data Protection Unit

Data Protection Day is an important global awareness event organised annually on 28January to remind us of the importance of protecting our personal data. This event was instigated by the Council of Europe in 2007 to raise awareness about the subject, while promoting data privacy best practices.

As the world becomes increasingly digital, data protection gains in importance. In almost everything we do and wherever we go, we leave our own digital footprints. These digital footprints are captured and information is extracted from them. The information is then used by third parties to send us promotional material and information based on our behaviour, on what we like, our interests and our surfing patterns. Sometimes the information is sent to influence our decision-making process.

However, data that we provide, knowingly or unknowingly, may also be maliciously used for identity theft.

It is important to take well-informed decisions when sharing personal data online and be aware of the potential consequences of our actions. The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has granted us more control over our data. We now have the right to object to any data processing, as well as the ability to access, modify and delete our data.

Here are some steps that everyone should take to ensure their data is safe and secure:

  1. Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication when possible
  2. Regularly monitor your online accounts for suspicious activity
  3. Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading unknown files
  4. Do not share your personal information with anyone you do not know or trust
  5. Be careful when using public Wi-Fi networks

Data Protection Day is a vital reminder of our responsibilities to protect our personal data and the privacy of others. This day is an opportunity to reflect on how we use and share our information and ensure we are doing so in a way that is safe and secure.

BOV is committed to protecting its customers’ data and will continue to implement robust security measures, while adhering to data privacy regulations.

To learn more about how your personal data is used and protected, one may refer to the Bank’s Privacy Notice on: https://www.bov.com/content/privacy

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