'This week marks the annual Privacy Awareness Week run by the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) group.
It is focused on promoting awareness amongst individuals and businesses of their privacy rights and responsibilities.
The week offers an opportune time for resellers to begin to reinforce or revisit conversations with customers about their privacy requirements.
Both individuals and businesses need to be wary of unscrupulous or opportunistic companies asking for sensitive or private information.
Perhaps the biggest scourge of privacy in recent years has been phishing attacks and social engineering, coupled with individuals and organisations failing to recognise the importance of systems to protect the information they store and transmit.
Many of these scams are through email, web, or a combination of both known as blended threats and they are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and hard to identify to the untrained eye.
Most of us are now wise to the Nigerian bank worker who has stumbled across millions of dollars and just needs your bank account details to hide it properly.
But often spam appears professional and trustworthy.
The emergence of blended threats that coax personal information from unsuspecting victims has added an extra dimension, with spam becoming even more innocuous, and at times exceeding 150 billion messages per day.
For businesses, data leakage and sensitive information that finds its way outside the company boundaries constitutes a major issue.
Businesses need to have an effective security gateway to control inbound content, especially being able to block malicious code and blended threats.
An equally important line of defence is to have policies and controls in place to ensure sensitive data isn't sent out of the business without permission or even accidentally.
Privacy Awareness Week offers a great opportunity for resellers to discuss with customers the security threats that exist today.
There are numerous unscrupulous and opportunistic companies set up to exploit those who are vulnerable to data leakage.
Some tips resellers can offer their customers when looking at the security measures they have in place are:
Talk to your customers about the types of security threats that exist and the tools needed to prevent private data exiting the business
Determine whether your customers have effective content filtering to stop phishing attacks, malicious codes and blended threats in spam
Advise customers on the importance of having policies and controls in place to monitor and limit how sensitive data is shared internally and externally