Many of us use and store data (personal, professional, and educational) on various digital platforms today. For example, we store important documents, such as photos, resumes, health reports, and financial documents, on various digital storage platforms. It sure makes life easier, doesn’t it? But, did you ever wonder how secure your data is and why you should enable data privacy controls and follow data privacy tips to keep it safe? Concerned about the risks of data misuse and how to recover from a data breach? This Data Privacy Week, let’s talk about data privacy, its importance, and some tips you can use to protect your data.1,2,3,4
Data privacy, also known as information privacy, is a subset of data security. It focuses on how to properly handle data (especially personal data), such as who has access to it, how third parties collect it (clearly identifying consents, providing notices), and whether regulatory requirements are met.
Importance of Data Privacy
The demand for secure and confidential data management has never been more important in this digital age.
Users are often required to provide their personal information to websites, software, and social media platforms for procuring different services. Some platforms and applications, however, may go beyond consumer expectations in terms of how data is collected and used, resulting in less privacy or entirely compromising users’ privacy, leading to data breaches.
“In 2020, more than 150 million people had sensitive information exposed, including passwords, phone numbers, home addresses, financial data, and other sensitive information.”5
Risks associated with data breaches include losing control over personal information, identity theft, online fraud, unwanted marketing emails and calls, and others.
Data Privacy Tips
Here are some data privacy tips you can use when using various digital platforms to ensure your data is safe.
- Employ Multi-factor Authentication (where available): It can help add an extra layer of security and can help reduce the chances of someone gaining unauthorized access to your accounts.
- Encrypt Your Data (whenever possible): Encryption is the process of using an algorithm to transform data into a form that is unreadable without a key. By encrypting data, you can ensure that it remains secure by making it impossible for anyone without the key to access or read it. For instance, when sending sensitive information over the Internet, you can use encryption to ensure that only the intended recipient can decode and read the data.
- Maintain Up-to-date Data Security Software: Maintaining the most recent data security software on your laptops, smartphones, and other devices can help protect your devices from malware, viruses, and hackers, which can help lower the risk of data being stolen or exploited.
- Use Strong Passwords and Never Auto-Save Them: Auto-saving passwords are risky because they allow anyone who gains access to your device to also gain access to your accounts. Using strong passwords and changing them regularly is a good way to ensure that your accounts and data remain secure.
- Implement Data Backup and Recovery on a Regular Basis: Doing this can help protect your data in the event of a data breach, malicious attack, or hardware or software failure. Maintaining regular backups can also make it possible to quickly and easily restore any lost or corrupted data.
- Watch Out for Odd Emails, Requests, and Pop-ups: These emails, requests, and pop-ups could contain malicious software that may be used to steal sensitive information or damage your computer. It is best to be cautious and not open them.
When a Data Breach Occurs, What Should You Do?
Immediately after discovering a data breach, it is important to mitigate the damage and secure your data. Here are some tips that can help.5,6
- Verify the stolen or compromised data.
- Change your online passwords and other security credentials.
- Reset your multi-factor authentication.
- Based on the type of data compromised, reach out to the right people for assistance.
- Keep an eye on your accounts for any unusual activity.
Hope you found this blog useful. Explore Byju’s FutureSchool Blog for more blogs like this.
- Buckbee, M. (2020) Data Privacy Guide: Definitions, Explanations and Legislation. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://www.varonis.com/blog/data-privacy
- DATA PRIVACY, ETHICS AND PROTECTION GUIDANCE NOTE ON BIG DATA FOR ACHIEVEMENT OF THE 2030 AGENDA. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://unsdg.un.org/sites/default/files/UNDG_BigData_final_web.pdf
- Blume, P. (1999). Data Protection and Privacy-Basic Concepts in a Changing World. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://www.scandinavianlaw.se/pdf/56-7.pdf
- What is data privacy? | Privacy definition | Cloudflare. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://www.cloudflare.com/en-gb/learning/privacy/what-is-data-privacy/
- Grauer, Y. (2021).What to Do After a Data Breach – Consumer Reports. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://www.consumerreports.org/data-theft/what-to-do-after-a-data-breach-a7749505463/
- Johansen, A. G. (2021).What to do after 5 types of data breaches | Norton. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://us.norton.com/blog/emerging-threats/what-to-do-after-a-data-breach#