- The privacy of an individual and their data cannot be sabotaged at any cost. This is why governments are introducing new laws and amendments to outdated rules and regulations.
- Many jurisdictions consider privacy a fundamental human right, and data protection laws guard this fundamental right.
We often hear quotes like data is the new fuel, data is the new oil; data is the new currency.
Companies and organizations are hunting for access to new data, leading to an ever-increasing demand for data collaboration across industries.
Sadly, data collaborations face many challenges due to increasing concerns about data security, confidentially, and privacy.
Many times, this leaves companies incapable of extracting much value from sensitive data and hampers the pace of innovation.
Who wouldn’t want to facilitate seamless data collaboration and computation without divulging or jeopardizing the core data? It’s here that privacy computing technologies picture in.
An individual’s privacy and data cannot be sabotaged at any cost. This is why governments worldwide are introducing new laws and amending outdated rules and regulations. These changes are affecting organizations as they are unable to ensure fair practices and data compliance.
For example, in the banking industry, cross-institutional data collaboration is essential to combat financial crimes in financial institutes like money laundering. The costs of data collaboration are often too expensive due to privacy and confidentiality regulations.
In this blog, we will cover topics such as data privacy and why it is important. We will also talk about various forms of data misuse, why privacy is important, and the challenges users face while protecting online privacy. Lastly, we will offer some solutions that can help you keep your data safe and secure.
What is data privacy, and its importance?
Privacy is considered a fundamental human right, and data protection laws guard this fundamental right. Data privacy is vital for individuals to engage online; users must be assured that their data is in safe hands. Firms follow best data protection practices to assure their customers and users that their data is secure.
There are many ways by which personal data can be misused if it is not kept private or when users do not have control over how their information is being used.
Some forms of data misuse are:
- Cybercriminals can use an individual’s data to harass or defraud users.
- Entities can sell personal data to advertisers or other parties without the user’s consent. It can result in the user receiving unwanted advertising or marketing.
- When a user’s activities are monitored and tracked, it can restrict their right to free speech, especially in the case of repressive governments.
Here are some reasons why data privacy is important:
- Privacy gives us the authority to choose our thoughts and emotions and the people to share.
- Privacy safeguards the information we decide not to disclose (such as medical conditions).
- Privacy enables us to protect our physical safety (if your real-time location data is private).
- Privacy helps us protect our businesses against entities we rely on or are very influential.
- Privacy and freedom are tied together. Freedom without free will is not privacy.
Here are some of the challenges faced by users while protecting their online privacy:
- Online tracking: A user’s behavior is tracked online regularly. Cookies often record a user’s activities. While many countries require websites to send alerts to users about cookie usage, it is difficult for the user to know to what degree the cookies are recording their activities.
- Losing control over their data: With so many online activities, individuals are often unaware of how their data is shared past the websites where they interact. Such situations may not necessarily allow the user to have a say over what happens to their data.
- Lack of transparency: Users are often asked to provide personal data like their name, email address, and home address to use web applications – privacy policies associated with such applications might often be dense and difficult to understand.
- Social media: It is easy to find someone online using social media platforms and posts as it may reveal more personal information than a user realizes. Apart from that, social media platforms accumulate more data than users perceive.
- Cybercrime: Many cyber criminals attempt to steal user data to commit frauds, compromise secure systems, or even sell it to underground markets to groups who may use the data for malicious purposes. Some attackers use phishing attacks to trick users into not revealing personal information, while others try to compromise a company’s internal system that contains personal data.
How do you protect your data?
You can prevent unauthorized users from accessing the data that your company stores in the cloud. You only need a keen eye and some more work for this. The following are a few helpful pointers that must be kept in mind to keep cloud data safe and secure.
- Always have a local backup: It’s advisable to create hard copies of crucial business data and keep it safe. This backup data can be accessed when the original data is lost. One can look for cloud storage solutions or set up a cloud account to keep the backup copies.
- Avoid storing sensitive data: Data privacy is a prime concern in today’s era, as it’s difficult to trust anything on the internet. For this reason, one should resist storing sensitive files or information in the cloud. Such files must be stored in a cloud platform that’s not accessed frequently. Crucial financial information, competitor details, client details, contact details like phone number/address etc. must not be stored.
- Data encryption: Data encryption is one of the best ways to protect data. This is because before accessing data, it needs to be decrypted. Further, it safeguards data against service providers and users as well.
- Using strong passwords: It’s known that strong passwords can withstand hacking. At the same time, it’s essential to change passwords frequently and never use the same password for all the accounts or folders.
- Be cautious, especially when using a public network: Your online behaviour is what decides the security of your cloud data. Do not save your password when working on public networks and log out properly before leaving the network.
- Ensure you have a valid anti-virus: A system/device ought to be protected to help secure business data. Any exposure to bugs and viruses can give hackers easy access to your system. An effective and robust anti-virus system can secure all the files and information.
- Go through your user agreement: Before choosing any cloud storage, be sure to read the user agreement. It isn’t easy to get a sense of it, and it might also test your patience, but this needs to be done. User agreements are essential as they carry information that helps gain an understanding of minute details.
Data privacy is more important today than ever. One should be aware of what information is being given away to avoid future problems down the line.