By Devin Orsini

Robert Turner of the ITS data privacy team and Karen Murphy, ITS project manager, hosting the data privacy event, Jan.28.

Incidents of data privacy and security breaches are spiking as criminals who exploit network weaknesses are getting more sophisticated.

“It is a constant threat, with a lot of valuable information at stake, it’s a money grab,” said Robert Turner, member of the ITS data privacy team. “It’s never going to go away, the bad guys are getting more sophisticated.”

The college is always taking steps towards protecting our data. Algonquin is compliant with both Payment Card Industry and Data Security Standards credit card regulations. Algonquin meets both standards and ensures our credit card information is safe, no matter where it’s used inside the college.

Tens of millions of people, if not more, are affected every year when data is compromised.

“Numbers are growing,” said Karen Murphy, ITS project manager. “It’s getting worse; look at any statistics, the graph is growing higher.”

“It’s getting worse because of the way data is being transferred, the ease of information,” said Turner.

To stay informed, all staff and students are encouraged to read the privacy policy featured on most pages on the college’s website, which explains how our data is stored and used. “Algonquin College is committed to protecting the privacy of your personal information,” said Heather Murphy ITS business analyst, as it says on the first line of the privacy policy.

Algonquin hosted its first Data Privacy Day on Jan. 28, in the cafeteria, officially marking the beginning of Data Privacy Month, an international event recognized among businesses and institutions.

International Data Privacy Day encourages institutions to hold events to inform people about data privacy and the constant threat they potentially face.

“The great thing about Data Privacy Day, is it’s making the general public aware of privacy issues,” said Heather. “It’s our shared responsibility to understand the role we can play to protect our personal information.”

There is no doubt that Algonquin is constantly under attack, but thanks to its data privacy team, any potential threats have been unsuccessful.

“There’s a lot of room to grow, awareness is key,” said Karen. “We are always looking to tighten things up in the network.”