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Privacy awareness: Why privacy matters

Almost without realising it, we make many daily decisions about sharing our personal information with organisations and individuals as we navigate our worlds.

We’re proud to release the first course in our Privacy Awareness for Australia programme this month: Introduction to Privacy. We’ve worked with a team of experts at Simply Privacy to distil some of the most important concepts about privacy and why it matters.

Customers share their information with us

From sharing a secret with a friend to clicking “accept” on the terms and conditions of an online registration form, we make decisions every day about which types of personal information we feel comfortable sharing.

Whether or not we share this information is often based on our perception of how trustworthy an organisation or person is and whether we think our information will be safe.

While some people may feel comfortable sharing a lot of their information freely, others take a more conservative view and choose to reveal minimal information about themselves.

When we handle customers’ personal information in our organisations, we always need to stay aware of our responsibility to do this respectfully and in only the ways we said we would.

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Privacy is based on trust

There’s an underpinning principle of trust when it comes to privacy matters. People are more likely to trust organisations that have worked hard to establish a solid industry reputation.

The more trust an individual places in a company, the less risk they feel when interacting with that company and sharing their personal data. We could almost describe people’s interactions with organisations as a trade-off between losing some forms of privacy in exchange for gaining some benefits from the interaction.

Customer rewards programmes are an example of this type of privacy vs benefit trade-off. By joining rewards programmes, people agree to give companies access to some of their personal data. They’re happy to make this trade-off to enjoy discounts or special prices. In return for offering these rewards, the company benefits from all the insights that analysing customer data offers.

You can see how joining a rewards programme is a decision about sharing personal information where, in the customer’s mind, the benefits outweigh the risks.

Understanding how trust influences privacy and the importance of handling personal information with respect and transparency are important pieces of the puzzle in getting privacy right.

Broken trust is bad news

When things go wrong and privacy breaches happen, it can leave people feeling distressed, exposed, or unfairly treated. Privacy breaches can result in financial loss to the person or people whose information was breached and the organisation in question. They can also have lasting consequences for individuals, including identity theft and loss of opportunity.

The fallout of privacy breaches for organisations can be serious. Apart from financial penalties, the reputational damage and loss of market share can be tough to recover from. Just like a crumpled up piece of paper, even if you fix a privacy breach problem and smooth it over, but the trust may never be the same again.

Getting privacy right and following safe practices when working with personal information that belongs to our customers is essential to building a solid and trustworthy brand, and privacy awareness training is an ideal place to start.

SafeStack Academy Privacy Awareness training

Providing privacy awareness training was a natural evolution of our cyber security awareness training programme. We want to offer affordable, relatable privacy-related training for companies of all shapes and sizes.

In 2020, in partnership with our friends at Simply Privacy, we began developing the course outlines and learning content for our Privacy Awareness for New Zealand programme.

We’ve worked hard to create learning content that suits our audience, presenting solid, helpful information that skips the overwhelming legal terms and language that are so common in this space.

Our privacy awareness training focuses on teaching the behaviours that help people handle the personal information entrusted to them in respectful, secure, and transparent ways.

Considering privacy-related aspects as early as possible in projects and tasks means we can deliver solutions that uphold privacy principles and build trust with our clients and partners.

Reaching new audiences

As SafeStack Academy grows, we’re reaching out to new customers around the world. We’ve recently started working with more Australian customers, and in response to their requests, we’re developing a privacy awareness programme that’s more specific to their privacy landscape.

We’re also learning a lot as we navigate the complexities of privacy laws and requirements in different countries. This catalogue of courses looks set to continue expanding as our international customer base grows. It’s an exciting space to be in!

Privacy awareness, not legal advice

Even though we develop our courses with the guidance of legal experts at Simply Privacy, these courses are not intended as legal advice.

Instead, our courses are aligned with basic privacy principles. The learning objective is to help learners understand why privacy matters and break that down into simple, action-oriented behaviours. We want to teach people about why we need to care about privacy.

What does the training cover?

Our Privacy Awareness programmes for both New Zealand and Australia offer pragmatic, action-oriented training — the type of training that teams can directly apply to how they handle personal information.

If you’re not already a SafeStack Academy member, you may be wondering what type of courses are included in these programmes.

Each course focuses on a different privacy-related topic and includes an interactive lesson and a short knowledge check. Learners are presented with examples and activities to help them recognise the situations where they should consider privacy and the best practices for handling personal data respectfully and securely.

Here’s a look at what courses are included in each programme.

Privacy Awareness for New Zealand

  • Course 1: Introduction to privacy
  • Course 2: Principles of the New Zealand Privacy Act 2020
  • Course 3: Managing privacy breaches
  • Course 4: Privacy for data processors

Privacy Awareness for Australia

  • Course 1: Introduction to privacy

The first course in our Privacy Awareness for Australia programme gets learners started on their privacy awareness journey. We introduce some basic concepts and share in-lesson activities that help cement learning.

We cover practical learning actions, including:

  • Identifying personal information and sensitive personal information,
  • Understanding the consequences of privacy breaches, and
  • Knowing who to reach out to for privacy guidance.

Try it yourself

Sign up for our SafeStack Academy Security Awareness training today, or take it for a spin with a free 14-day trial

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