It is quite strange to understand as to why as a nation we haven’t adopted a comprehensive privacy law for information over the internet and utilize only sectorial laws in some selected locations. Considering that we are one of the most developed nations in the world, there is no doubt that we must have all-inclusive and wide-ranging data protection laws. Progress is necessary if we want to grow as a nation and so is adapting to the ever-changing scenery of the digital realm around us. With over 500 major employers, 18,500 independent firms, and more than 27.9 small businesses in the US, the need for privacy is more of a fundamental need rather than wishful rational. Here is a small guide as to what the information privacy is all about and what can you do about it when it comes to the internet and its usage.
Information Privacy, What is it?
There is literally a nonstop stream of data available on the internet and it goes without saying how valuable it is regarding that knowledge is power and power in the wrong hands can be hazardous. Information privacy thus comes into play when we are concerned with volatile information when that information relates to legal and political issues, public expectation of privacy, and technology. Such information is known as sensitive or personally identifiable information which is often collected on the internet, put in storage, and used before it can be destroyed or deleted finally. Volatile or sensitive information can be collected from a wide range of sources which include such as:
- Criminal investigations and proceedings
- Financial transactions and information from financial institutions
- Health and medical records
- Homeowner accounts and geographical archives
- Academic research, studies, & inquiries
The basic idea behind information privacy is to utilize and make use of available data, but the actual challenge is to make sure that it is completely protected from all breaches and data leaks. This is where information security, computer security and data protection measures and methods are used to make sure data leakages never occur.
Information Privacy: Why Is It Such A Major Concern?
The very fact that privacy helps us maintain our identity and authority shows how important privacy is. If privacy is not well kept or invaded then there is a high chance for a person to suffer from identity frauds and other troubles. Though many consider matters of privacy a complex one, there is no doubt that it keeps wrong-doers away from harming us. Some of the reasons as to why you should consider information privacy as an important concern include:
- Without proper privacy measures, risk of vulnerabilities become high
- Individuals can be manipulated on the digital platform
- One could possibly lose their freedom, and that could result in tentative behavior and inhibition
- Cybercriminals can make transactions using your name and identity
- Private firms and organization can make tons of money of your valuable data
How Do I Observe Information Privacy For Myself?
Information leads to knowledge and we already discussed that in the wrong hands it can do you much harm. Hence in order to make sure that all of your private information is 100% safe and kept tightly secured, here are some tips you simply cannot do without nowadays:
- When a firm, company, institution, or organization request you to present personal and private information in case of new joining, recruitment, membership or some other reason, at that moment you should always ask them about their privacy terms and policies. It is important for you to know where your information is being kept and what they will do it, and what security measure do they provide to guarantee its safety.
- Never share your personal and private information online, or by telephone, or via mail unless you are absolutely sure who you are dealing with and never deal with unknown entities.
- If you are retiring from work or leaving the office for good, make sure to use a wiping utility program to completely clean your computing device of all personal and private information it may have sorted during the course of your stay at the workplace.
- It is best that you manually perform clearing of the phone book, call lists, voicemails, and message history, including images, photos, and web search history.
- Data is meant to be encrypted, in order to make your online transactions protected. The ‘lock’ icon on the address bar of your browser signifies that encryption is being utilized. Never discuss or send private or financial details unless you see that lock before you.
More than 80 countries around the globe, including the majority of Europe, actively participate in keeping their online data protected and secured through comprehensive data protection laws, policies, and practices. It is highly important that you always consider your safety first above all things whenever you initiate an online transaction. Software and tools like ant-virus and anti-malware are your best support along with anti-spying and online protection tools. Make sure that you have an updated version, as only the newest definitions can help you against the ever-growing list of viruses, bugs, malware, and spying tactics deployed by cybercriminals.
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