Data privacy and protection is at the forefront of cybersecurity concerns. Data is a major asset to companies as well as the individual. Companies use data to understand their audience, create target advertising, and create new products based on their customer input.
On an individual level, we all have the right to privacy and data should only be accessed with our consent. When it’s not, like in the case of cybercrime, the damage can range from serious financial loss to bodily harm. We have put together an expert guide to data privacy protection so you do not become a victim.
What is personal data?
To know what you want to protect, it’s important to understand what personal data is. Simply put personal data or information is anything that can identify an individual or is related to the identification. This can include, but isn’t limited to:
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s License
- Phone number
- Email address
- Financial info like credit card numbers or bank details
Most of us think we are very careful about our personal information. The truth, is, without realizing it, we have been conditioned to respond to all types of ads, sign up for social media accounts, and give out other sensitive info without thinking twice. These harmless acts open the door for hackers.
What can be done with my information?
The cloud may sound like a nice place, but it can be easily exploited by skilled hackers.
Cybercriminals are master manipulators and can do countless illegal activities with little more than a number or email address.From a business perspective, your clients and customers rely on you to prevent data breaches and protect their privacy. Here are just a few things that can be done with your data:
“The average cost of a data breach in 2020 will exceed $150 million by 2020…” according to Juniper Research
Identity theft is one of the biggest security threats. Just by entering these identity markers, passports, fake id’s, credit cards, and more can be opened in your name instantly. Always be careful when asked for this information. A good rule of thumb is to check the request with a call or search. For example: If you get an email from the DMV asking for you to update your information, search or call them to see if you can update differently.
Look out for easy targets
Knowing what and how to look out for your personal data will help you maintain data privacy protection for yourself and clients. Here are a few critical steps you can take today:
Social Media – Make sure you know exactly what data is being collected. This means every company should be fully transparent about what and how they are using your information. It was recently discovered for example, that a major social media platform is tracking you whether you have an account or not. To protect yourself from these and other data breaches, use a cybersecurity feature that cookies are wiped out and your social media account can’t.
Companies like BlackFog have created a specific service called Facebook Data Privacy Protection, to block social media from accessing your information without your permission.
Medical records – According to Experian, your medical records can be worth up to $1000. This is on par with passports. Make sure your medical information is secured by your health provider and your computer as well.
How to Protect your Data Privacy
Here are a few tips to prevent identity theft:
- Use a great password – this refers to passwords that are long, unique, and mix symbols, numbers and cases.
- Do monitor your presence on the Dark Web. This is an “underground” web not accessible by search engines. In the cybersecurity space, it acts as an online black market for cybercriminals to sell your information.
- Get identity protection for you and your family
- Keep your software updated to protect you from all forms of cyber threats. Prevention is still the strongest form of protection.
Protecting your data privacy has never been more important than today. With 3 billion people using the internet on desktops and mobile devices, people and businesses are at high risk constantly for data breaches. Identity theft is rampant but there are ways to prevent and protect yourself. Know your rights, always look for and provide transparency in your company. Be wary of social media and healthcare providers. Both of these collect valuable data that is worth a lot of money on the Dark Web. Be smart about password and get prevention on your device that will guard you against serious data privacy crime.