All this buzz about data privacy. There’s a good reason for it because those few traces you leave online can be accessed by anyone. So this is our take on data privacy and why it’s more essential now than ever before.
Data privacy, in our humble opinion, is a matter of concern and it affects everyone. There’s a simple reason for it – we are fond of the internet, if not addicted to it and we rely on a lot of those online deals and transactions. And why not? This marvel has made our lives smoother, seamless, connected and easier. But, here’s the deal. Things that are this good, have a catch. The harsh truth behind it is that an easier, internet-enabled life comes at the cost of our privacy. That’s right, our data that goes up online and is saved can be read, accessed and misused by third parties. Even if we don’t intend to share anything with that third party.
Why services need personal data to be shared – why it’s useful.
It’s the small things that our daily online services require in order to work. These are your name, address, contact details, Aadhar numbers, passport numbers, driving license numbers, etc. There are other private, personal details that can be easily identified may not be safe.
But then, why share the data at all? We share this information because we need to pay for things, order food, book a cab and so on; and the apps and online services that we use make it convenient for us to conduct such errands from the convenience of our home.
So how does it all take place? How does our information saved in one location reach someone else, somewhere else? Of course, apps give us the option to hide, filter the data we use. We also don’t make any active efforts to give out our data – so then, how?
What is the problem behind sharing details?
Look at it this way – all that we do online isn’t actually hidden. Our social media channels, online searches for things, and the sites we visit – all of this is curated and monitored so it can be used for giving us a more personalized experience, show us ads based on the item we last searched for, etc. It helps to show us even more items that fall in line with our interests.
The idea is to increase the chances of you clicking on or buying something. We’re not complaining as this is a legitimate way to do business or sell things online. It does help in providing us with better experiences, services and products. We can say, however, that this is the whole new business of collecting our personal data.
People who know their data privacy is compromised and others who don’t.
So far, this all looks good, so where exactly is the problem? It lies in the fact that our details are always being shared with some third party or the other, in order for the internet to enhance our experiences. Now, what we don’t know is if the data we’re sharing is helping cyber thieves or not. Do we? If hackers find this data, they may grab our details and misuse it. They could even access and misuse our mobile devices and numbers.
We’ve noticed that there are two kinds of netizens – one that knows how the whole data privacy gamble works and the others who don’t understand the compromise. Unfortunately, the second group is the larger one and proves our point for data confidentiality as the need of the hour.
With all the privacy invasion, data leaks and online hacks that happen on da daily basis – the real worry is the casual attitude that most of us have adopted towards data privacy. Being tech-savvy guys ourselves, we’ve seen some strange things.
A very common example is when someone gets a hold of your number and calls you pretending to be from your bank, asking you for bank details – this is called phishing. They even make up stories like a fake emergency, so they can extract money from your account.
Then there are the world-famous data breaches that have happened at WhatsApp, Aadhaar (UIDAI Card in India) and Facebook. There’s a big chance that your data was compromised as well, think about it – important documents, contacts, photos, mailboxes, DMs.
Of course, there are other examples and instances. So this is why it’s important to be concerned about data privacy, and immediately adapt ways to protect our data.
This is also the reason why you need to avoid downloading unknown apps or clicking on suspicious links. Where URLs are concerned, you can check to see if the address begins with an ‘HTTPS’ and that its SSL certified – you can see both of these things on the browser address bar. And here are some other points to remember while being social over the net:
- Be aware of malicious sites.
- Use end-to-end encryption services.
- Avoid passwords and use a passphrase instead.
- Don’t hand over your bank or personal details over the phone.
- Pirated software shouldn’t be installed as they infect devices.
Important data privacy concerns and a short note on what can be done.
Let’s begin with what data privacy is – in a nutshell, it’s the securing of the data/information of people using electronic gadgets. This definition also spans the secret collection and release of that same information to third parties.
One has to be careful about providing any kind of information on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Given the amount of cyber fraud out there, it’s essential to understand digital privacy. Here’s how data and privacy really work.
The other essentials one needs to know about are firewalls, anti-virus, making a strong password, and professional ID protection plan services.
Some people are using apps to create a private space of their own. In this ‘space’, they can hide folders, files, apps so that these items can’t be accessed by other apps. They keep sensitive data private and safe. This helps guard data from data leaks that are common in network connecting services.
Other data security considerations might even include backing up your data. These are extra copies of all data stored elsewhere, either in the cloud like Google Drive or hardware like a USB drive. Doing this can help prevent the following:
- Information theft
- Damage/ modifications to data either accidental or malicious
- Releasing data prematurely so it’s out of bounds of intellectual properties claims
- Breaching of privacy laws and confidentiality agreements
Some simply dispose of data stored in physical things like electronic media, tapes, hard disks, etc. This is done when the data is corrupted, or can’t be read, accessed or used due to security purposes. Other times, it’s archived for use later on, but both methods have their own plus points.
- Finding data is easier, faster because one knows where to look
- Eliminates the need for massive servers, unnecessary storage costs, or record keeping
How it all connects to our mobile phones, the most vulnerable gadget
For the obvious reason that we use this device more than others, it’d be the first choice for a hacker to target. A growing number of people are using it for emailing, shopping and as wallets – storing more than just a bunch of names and numbers.
We are also constantly creating new data. Our mobiles are now workstations, a one-stop-shop for all kinds of payments, health check-ups tools, productivity planners – all mixed up with the ongoing tweeting, texting, and Facebooking! Don’t forget mobile banking, notes on projects, emailing too.
In other words – the more you connect, the more you store, the more you are likely to lose.
Many still don’t use secure passwords or stick with Swipe Unlock. And this leaves us with a great risk of losing EVERYTHING in just one small incident like the phone getting snatched by a petty thief, hacked browsers, forgetting the phone in a cab, etc. It’s no wonder that many of us are looking for ways to keep their devices – and everything stored on it – safe. It’s time you started taking your data security seriously too.
How secure are your smartphone and online data? Take the free ID Fence Risk Test to know now!