As the world is progressing towards technological advancements that help simplify everyday tasks, there is also a critical concern submerging regarding “Data Privacy.”
What is Data Privacy?
Organizations or individuals can determine what data in their network/computer system can be shared with third parties. The third parties here are the companies that gather everyday data and use that for their business accomplishments.
This includes necessary information such as age, gender, religion, hobbies, choices that are accessible from social media, or advanced knowledge such as browsing patterns or search histories for a marketing basis.
As time has shifted towards keeping our data online, online data privacy is a concern for everyone today. Privacy here can mean either of the two: Personally-Identifying Information (PII) or non-PII information such as a visitor’s behavior on a website. PII is any information that can be used to identify an individual.
A combination of only age and physical address can alone determine who the individual is without the need to disclose their name. Soon GPS Tracking Data used by applications will also become a form of PII. This is something that every individual does today since it’s the online age now. Which means, online data privacy is a concern for everyone, whether that be a teenager, adults, or senior citizens.
Let’s assume an individual is not aware of these details. What happens if their data privacy is invaded or breached?
Once the data is breached, it hurts both individuals and organizations as sensitive information is compromised. The term confidential data is being used as it can be your banking details from using online banking, the passwords to your email addresses that contain sensitive information regarding your work/organization, or your credit card information from when you went online shopping.
Once these details are breached, you are likely to face the following effects:
1. Financial Loss – In case of breach of baking details or credit card information, individuals are likely to face financial loss or money frauds that will wipe them out clean.
Whereas for organizations, the economic loss upon data breach would be due to compensating customers, lost shares, and customers or heightened investment in security costs.
2. Reputational Damage – Once the word is out about a company having a data breach, it will spread like wildfire, causing a massive hit to their reputation in the market, giving an edge to competitors and losing customers.
3. Operational Disruptions – Depending on the severity of the breach, it can result in complete loss of essential data, which will require the victim to spend long periods recovering.
In such cases, usually, the solution is a total shut down of all your operations until the solution and source of the breach are found. As an organization, the longer the operations are shut down, the more the loss of finances and customers they will have.
4. Legal Ramifications – In cases of cyber breaches that involve an individual’s personal information, it often results in a class-action lawsuit.
Over the years, that has led to tens of millions of dollars being paid out by companies for a settlement. As organizations, they lose tons of money in case of settlements and the legal fees that go along these payouts.
PureVPN is celebrating Data Privacy Day. Join hands with PureVPN in supporting this cause.
Learn more about Data Privacy Day 2020.
How to Stay Secure Online?
Many countries have now passed legislation for protection against illegal use of private information. But is that enough? Hence, those who want to take safety precautions themselves here is what they can do:
- VPN – Using VPN applications will help disguise your online information such as IP address or your location and shield your browsing activity from others when using public networks.
- Choose to share limited data online on your social media accounts.
- Cut back on data sharing, which means when filling out online forms, don’t share very personal or sensitive information.
- Refrain from using public wifi’s or public computers, especially to access your online bank account, shopping, or checking emails.
- Use strong passwords that do not involve something predictable about you with a combination of upper and lower case, punctuation marks, and numbers.
- Malware Protection – Use antivirus and keep it up to date. It will prevent bugs and hacking.
- Use credit cards instead of debit cards as they have a relatively better fraud protection policy than the debit while remembering never to store/save your card information on the site.
Learn more about internet privacy.