Data Privacy – What You Need to Know

With all the talk about GDPR and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, data privacy has been in the news a lot lately. But how much do you really know about data privacy concerns and how they can impact you?

What is Data Privacy?

DataPrivacy-300x210 Data Privacy – What You Need to KnowWhile data privacy is about who you share what information with (both in digital and analog formats), for the purpose of our conversation, we’re going to focus primarily on online privacy. In the digital age, information privacy refers to how critical personal information, also known as personally identifiable information (PII) and personal health information (PHI) is stored and shared. This can include everything from your social security number and financial information to health and medical records – and even information as seemingly benign as your full name, address, or birthdate.

From a business perspective, data privacy not only encompasses this personal information of employees and customers, but it also includes critical and proprietary business information that if stolen, would have tremendous negative impacts on your operation.

Why Data Privacy Is Important

The bottom line is that when data (personal, business, or otherwise) gets into the wrong hands, it’s only a matter of time before it gets misused. Whether that’s in the form of stolen personal identities, credit card fraud, or confidential business information getting leaked to competitors, just to name a few, the effects of a data breach can be crippling. And the sad reality is, whether you are aware of it or not, the likelihood that you have been impacted by a data breach is high.

There is no single magical answer, here are a few tips to proactively protect your online data

  1. Don’t overshare. Your name, address, and birthdate may seem like pretty innocent information to share, but combined with even just one other piece of more personal information, such as your social security number, a criminal can do some serious
  2. Make sure your WiFi network and other connected devices are secure. This applies to both home and office.
  3. Use strong, unique passwords for online accounts.

And as an added step, consider enrolling in a credit monitoring service. While it doesn’t come free, these services can often catch if someone is trying to illegally use your personal information before you are ever even aware that a breach happened, and that can save you a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road.

If you’re interested in learning more about data privacy and how to best protect yourself and your business, look no further than ATB. Our team of IT professionals includes data privacy experts who are here to help!

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