Since 2007, January 28th has marked Data Privacy Day (or Data Protection Day in Europe), the annual awareness day to promote privacy and data protection best practices. The day is recognized in the United States, Canada, the UK and 26 other European countries through a number of initiatives focused on raising awareness among businesses and personal users about the importance of protecting the privacy of their personal information, particularly in the context of social networking.

In 2013, 73% of the UK population and 87% of the US population accessed the internet every day, and in our workplaces more and more time is spent online. It's also now recognized that social media is the number one online office activity for workers, with 67% using social media at work multiple times a day.

The rise of social media has undoubtedly had an impact on business, not only in terms of employee productivity (both positive and negative), but also the way in which organizations approach IT security. The internet is the greatest window of opportunity for hackers to enter the corporate network, with social media accounts now an increasingly common weak spot.

In recent weeks and months, we've seen a surge in the number of Facebook scams, designed to redirect you to another page and install malware, unbeknownst to the user. We’ve also witnessed a number of fake Facebook login scams where users click to share a post but are asked to login again, allowing hackers to steal username and password information and harvest personal details.

These types of scams are often very targeted. They can be used against specific organisations or groups of people on a range of different social media sites. They can even be used on LinkedIn to send corrupt CVs or job offers. All of these scams and threats can be compounded if they infect a work environment as malware can make its way into the corporate system.

There are of course, ways to mitigate the threat and keep your personal details and those of your employer away from the prying eyes of a hacker. Regularly changing your password, making sure it's alpha-numeric or simply checking the site you're viewing has a padlock or similar symbol in the top left corner of the page can help.

Companies should consider a defense in depth approach to their IT security if they are to protect their IT system from these types of attack and keep their data secure. Evidence suggests that to combat increasingly complex attack vectors, organizations need to adopt a layered strategy that prioritizes high-impact solutions, such as privilege management, application whitelisting and sandboxing to contain threats and provide additional peace of mind.

Find out more about how to secure your data with Defendpoint and make data privacy a key priority from today.