Data privacy is a huge issue right now, and with so many organizations possessing individual information, the issue isn’t going to be going away. Some of the biggest and most reputable organizations in business today have been breached in the past several years and it has put a new onus on individual data protection. Let’s take a look at individual data privacy and what can be done to protect yourself online.
Before we get into the strategies of protection, let’s identify what constitutes personal information. It includes:
If you consider how many times a business has asked you for this information, you will understand just how exposed your personal data is. You may not consider it a big deal until you are in the throes of a situation where your identity has been stolen.
Your personal information is exchanged in nearly every transaction you take part in online. In response to this, you need to understand what these organizations use this information for, and how exposure of your sensitive data diminishes your data privacy. Obviously, the goal is to keep this information out of the hands that will take advantage of it and bring detrimental situations to your doorstep.
Once you realize that you can’t trust companies with your personal information, you have started to understand the lay of the land. In Europe, the establishment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) brought the first major privacy protection law, and you are beginning to see more governments considering what to do in regard to data privacy. In many parts of the world, privacy has been nonexistent. Monitoring your information is a great way to turn that trend on its head.
As of now, people continuously distribute their information to organizations with the confidence that those organizations are going to keep that data safe. This hasn’t worked out that well for the individual, but that doesn’t seem to deter them from sharing this information anyway.
Only 10 percent of people feel like they have control over their own data, but less than 25 percent of surveyed respondents believed companies are doing enough to protect it. What is strange is that 92 percent of respondents of the same survey said that they would like to have absolute control over their personal data, with 87 percent seeking the ability to remove personal data from the Internet if it negatively affects their reputation.
Just being diligent about who you give your data to simply isn’t enough to protect it; and with so few options available to do so, an individual’s best bet is to understand the threats they face. These include:
People provide personal information all the time, and unfortunately, the organizations they are giving it to don’t understand how to protect it properly; or, worse yet, actively use it for their own monetary benefit. With the lack of effort by these organizations, individuals have no choice but to take a diligent approach to keep sensitive data away from hackers, and keep their identities secure.
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