What is Data Protection and Why is it Important?

Data protection is the act of keeping your personal, business and health-related data safe. Enormous precautions, from installing alarms to CCTV cameras, are taken to protect the valuables in the home. The personal data of each person is as valuable as their monetary possessions. A reliable survey states nearly $3.86 Million worth of financial loss occurs every year in the US alone due to negligence in data protection. 

What is Data Protection?

All of us use locks to protect our cars and home. Similarly, we should save our personal information or data to prevent it from getting stolen and used for various frauds, thefts, or marketing purposes. All the practices, technologies and laws related to protecting our personal info come under the term data protection.

Different Types of Data 

  1. Personal identifiable information (PII) – Name, residential address, primary email, social security number, mobile number
  2. Personal health information (PHI) – Age, gender, blood group, critical ailments, key medications consumed, allergies, hospital and insurance policy details
  3. Government-related details – Tax declarations, property details, legal details
  4. Business/Service – Company related data, customer-related data, employee information, details about various services used
  5. Personal declaration – Financial records, investment details, travel details

Protecting all the five types of data is significant as misusing any of this data can cause severe damage to business reputation and personal financial losses. 

How is the Data Leaked and Misused?

PII data: More and more services, from shopping to paying bills, are becoming available online. You are entering the address, mobile, and full name while creating a free email or registering with any website or subscription service. The customer has to give all his card details online on multiple platforms. If hackers get hold of such websites accessing customers’ credit card details, they can engage in substantial financial looting, identity misuse, load fraud, etc. 

PHI data: Medical records are becoming increasingly digitized. PHI data leaks from Hospitals or the company they outsource data entry services to update patient details. The hackers get a chance to know everything from a person’s genealogy to the BP tablet they are eating quickly. Several people can target vulnerable patients from low-cost drug manufacturers to fake treatment package promoters. 

Browsing data: Students and many professionals depend highly on the internet. Tracking their browsing habits can enable the dark web to:

  • lure them to see wanted sites 
  • engage in blackmail 
  • make them get addicted to playing costly or harmful games 

The Blue Whale Challenge got banned in several countries because it pushed the youngsters towards suicide.

Business data: An increasing number of people are working from home online. This act puts the core data of many giant corporations at risk as there is no protected company software or premises to ensure data safety. Any employee can quickly get hold of the company data and sell it to the competitors. Improper security, hacking, or lack of proper data protection stored in the cloud can lead to information breaches in giant corporations and businesses.

Government data: Government details can leak through various legal firms or other personal services you avail. Leakage of government data stored online can cause severe security threats to the entire nation and result in massive financial loss.

Why is Data Protection Important? 

Data protection is essential because valuable data in the hands of influential corrupt people can cause severe issues to national safety and its citizens’ well-being. Every person, organization, and government must act carefully to avoid sharing unwanted or too much data. 

Effective increase of Social Media interaction makes people share their data with completely unknown people, which is highly risky. No person with common sense would share anything other than their name with a stranger. Such natural vigilance gets blurred completely while interacting online.

People tend to let strangers view their profile, personal interests, family details, and every aspect of their life through frequent social media updates. Avoid such activities and act with digital responsibility for your safety and the well-being of your family. 

Different Types of Data Protection 

GDPR Law

The European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) act in 2018 to entail all users availing a business or service get a certain level of data protection. The private data of a person handled by every bank, company, or service institution like a hospital must get protected with the utmost care, according to the GDPR law. 

The main types of data protection strategies available currently are: 

Data encryption – all financial card details and transactions will be masked using suitable plugins when they get used online

Secured data backup in the cloud – Proper security to data stored in the cloud with powerful security software

Extensive password protection – Use of a well-developed password manager and using different, unique, hard to crack password combination for each service you sign up for online

Using proper security software to detect an intrusion or prevent hacking – Keeping the system and mobile updated with the latest antivirus software capable of intruder detection and hacking.

IAM or Identity and Access Management – Giving minimal and necessary access to PII data to service providers for a limited time and terminating the details quickly. 

Online and Offline Data Protection

Keep all personal data in social media profiles, email accounts, and other online communities hidden. Personal details often get disclosed through excessive social media sharing, disclosing details to strangers, shopping through unreliable websites using credit cards, etc. Avoid such activities at all costs. 

Think thrice before doing business with a new client or an acquaintance and sharing your business details with them. Use Nuwber for identity verification to ensure they have given authentic information. Do business only with legitimate people.

Shred all necessary documents with your PII data immediately after use, including the courier covers with your full address and contact details. Check twice before disclosing your details to any person and avail only reputable services for all business assistance. 

Conclusion

Lack of proper data protection might lead to various types of dangers from targeted phishing campaigns to identity theft, financial frauds, blackmail, etc. Data protection will save millions of dollars of loss, prevent serious safety-related risks and help you stay safe in a shadowy cyberattack-prone 21st century environment. 

Lakisha Davis

Lakisha Davis is a 20-year-old business studies student who enjoys watching tv shows, stealing candy from babies, and listening to the radio. She is creative and friendly, but can also be very boring and a bit selfish.

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