Managing Your Private Data: Why Is It Important?

Personal data is an essential asset to individuals and firms. Therefore, its protection should be a top priority for everyone.

According to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a data privacy law in the European Union (EU), personal data is any information that could help identify you.  This may include your name, email address, bank account number, credit card number, social security number, among other forms of identification.

Data protection, according to GDPR, is a fundamental right. The regulation ensures residents of the 28 countries in the European Economic Area are in full control of how others use their personal data.

So, what’s the importance of keeping your private data safe?

1.     Minimizes Security Risks

The use of the internet has led to numerous data breaches.

Many of us often provide personal information to online service providers. Unfortunately, if the wrong people access this information, it can be used to cause great harm.

For instance, stolen personal data can be sold to the dark web marketplaces putting your identity in danger. Data accessed by hackers can also be used to borrow loans or make unauthorized purchases through identity theft.

Protecting your private data can minimize security risks and protect it from being used for malicious activities.

2.     Protects Your Reputation

Safeguarding your data allows you to manage your reputation.

If your private data is exposed to others, they may judge you harshly, which can affect your well-being. Identity theft can also lead to falsified information and malicious activities, resulting in troublesome judgments from others.

Similarly, organizations should safeguard their customers’ data. If there is proper data governance in a firm, then trust is built, and customers will always have a good reputation for such a company.

3.     Limits the Power Others Have over You

Privacy limits the power government and private companies have over us. People who know too much about you will have power over you.

Take, for example, firms that use your data on the internet to come up with an extremely comprehensive profile. They use this profile for marketing specific products to you, taking advantage of your tastes and preferences, and influencing your purchase decisions. While this may not be a big concern for many of us, think about what can happen if the same information is used for malicious political purposes.

What Can You Do To Protect Your Private Data?

It’s essential to remain vigilant when it comes to your personal information. Some of the things you can do to minimize the risk of a personal data breach include:

  • Use safe and secure passwords when logging in to your online accounts. Ensure you don’t write the passwords down and use different passwords for different accounts
    · Use online security software to protect yourself from hackers, viruses among other threats.
    ·         Don’t click on random links or open unexpected attachments and messages
    ·         A spam filter can help mark unsolicited emails as spam, so you don’t have to open them
    ·         Don’t use your computer or phone over public WI-FI as hackers can eavesdrop your connection
    ·         Ensure your mobile phone has a secure lock and the apps have strong passwords to prevent thieves from viewing your personal information
    ·         Destroy any old mail that may have your data to minimize mail theft

Exercising caution when it comes to your private data can help ward off criminals and hackers. Adhering to data privacy laws such as GDPR will also help companies be more vigilant when it comes to protecting their customers’ data.

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