How to Stay Diligent About Data Privacy

What is data privacy?

This is a branch of data security that deals with the proper handling of data  including consent, notice, and regulatory obligations.

Since this involves one’s personal information and data security, this poses certain risks. Now, let’s look at some data privacy issues and how you can stay informed about them.

Data Privacy Risks

Nowadays, we rely on online transactions more than ever. This is why data privacy issues in e-commerce are becoming more rampant. However, data privacy issues can be online or offline. The following are some of the top risks businesses encounter when they collect, process, and store personal data or personally identifiable information (PII).

1. Collecting and storing too much personal data

Any time a business collects and stores information, they take on the responsibility for proper data handling and abide by the privacy regulations. To avoid compromising privacy, they should only collect and store information that they truly need and store it for future use.

This risk can also lead to the use of personal data for unauthorized purposes when not properly managed. Sharing of data with third parties, whether intentional or not, is one example.

2. Lack of transparency regarding data collection and use

Data privacy regulations often require clear, simple explanations on what personal data is collected and what purpose it will serve. This must be publicly available and easily accessible through usual privacy notices such as privacy policy, cookie policy, and terms of use statement. Failure to have such policies will cause businesses to fall out of privacy compliance.

3. Ever-changing data privacy policies

As times quickly change, businesses need to adapt and revisit their policies whenever they make new business decisions. These decisions revolve around new product or service launching, selling on new channels, or opening new offices in new countries or states to name a few.

Further, businesses need to rethink privacy implications when they implement new operating procedures in times of disruption. One example is the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Safely bringing back employees to work requires collecting their personal data such as body temperature and their activities as part of a contact tracing program.

Staying Diligent About Data Privacy

As issues and risks in data privacy can’t be fully avoided, we can always do our part to keep our personal data secure most especially when we’re online. With that, heed the following tips on how you can mitigate these risks and stay diligent about your personal information.

Always be keen and alert while transacting online.

Make sure you know who is collecting your personal data. As much as possible, don’t give out sensitive information on the phone or through unsecured chats, unless you’ve initiated the contact or you know who you’re dealing with.

Keep your passwords private.

Use strong passwords with your laptop, phone, banking, and other important accounts. Be creative and never use personal information which can be easily identified. For example, use a unique phrase describing one of your travel goals, and create a strong password combination from that.

Don’t overshare on social networking sites.

In the age of social media, people tend to treat social media as their diary or journal by posting too much information about themselves. An identity thief can find these personal details about your life, use them to hack your accounts, and get access to your money and other sensitive data. As much as you can, limit your public posts to a small group of people. If that’s not possible, avoid posting very specific details about yourself on publicly accessible sites.

Keep your devices secure.

Use security software and set your preference to update these protections often. Further, avoid opening files, emails, and links sent by strangers or by suspicious senders. Don’t expose your system to computer viruses or spyware which can be used to capture your personal data.

Also, be wise about your wi-fi usage. Before sending out your information over your PC or smartphone on a public wireless network, see if your connection is secure.

Lock up your laptop or PC, and keep financial data or other sensitive details only when necessary. As much as possible, don’t set an automatic login feature and always log off when you’re finished.

Lastly, take time to read privacy policies. They may be long and complex, but these help you understand more about how the site goes about its data privacy and security measures to protect you and be transparent with its procedures.
For more tech trends, news, and advice, browse more of Bossjob’s blog archives!

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