As our lives become more integrated with digital services, we are surrounded by more and more technology which makes it more important than ever to secure your data. Since the data that is produced by your modern digital life is not necessarily properly secured, there are some things that you can do to make it more secure.
When your data is put out there in the regular course of your normal digital activities, you must realize that your data becomes part of something called big data. As a point of reality, the internet is capable of connecting us with others, but to connect to others, we must share personal information for those connections to happen.
An entire industry has arisen from the sale of the data we inadvertently share, and quite frankly, the value of this data is high. Advertisers will pay exorbitant amounts for the information of those individuals who are more likely to purchase their products. The ability to purchase this useful consumer purchasing habits data gives companies a mammoth opportunity to sell to consumers that put those companies at an advantage over their competitors.
But the platforms to which you willingly give your personal information are not the only ones seeking to sell your personal information – hackers can make good money selling your personal information, too. In fact, they have an easier time collecting your information. Compared to the companies that gather data points one consumer at a time, hackers will collect this data on a whole set of consumers in one swoop; they will gather many people’s data points and then sell that valuable information on the dark web.
Many companies are moving to cloud computing, which means that they use off-site centers to harbor their data. Meaning the data you have entrusted with a company is not solely in their hands anymore. This present a greatly enhanced possibility for your data to be lost or stolen.
Some business sectors, types of databases, or data storage hardware are more susceptible to hacking than are others. Criminals may exploit system vulnerabilities. Inexperienced data center personnel may use weak passwords or accidentally respond to phishing. Privileged users and insiders can also abuse network privileges.
A large majority of industries, including retail, banking, gaming platforms, and social media have been or will be breached at some point. In some cases, these breached companies are embarrassed by their mishaps and sometimes neglect to disclose these significant infringements of their users’ personal data until they are strong-armed to do so by the threat of large fines.
We are not trying to scare you; we are trying to inform you about risks. Even with this informative knowledge, it can seem hopeless to keep our information safe from sneaky advertisers and hackers. There is good news, though. You have some control over your data.
Starting with what you share, you should always be cautious about the information you share via your online platforms. Ask yourself, does this company, medical provider, or social media platform need all of this information on me? Likely, no. Users want to know where their data is being sent and what it’s being used for. Soon enough, users will change their posture of reluctance acquiescence to one of a demand that the cookie-cutter privacy statements be re-drafted to limit the information that can be collected and then sold. Ultimately, you must probe beyond the vague statements that “your data is safe with us”. Start asking questions to hold companies’ feet to the fire. Companies should be required to show that their customer data is secured by substantial measures in place designed to protect your data.
LibertyID provides expert, full service, fully managed identity theft restoration to individuals, couples, extended families* and businesses. LibertyID has a 100% success rate in resolving all forms of identity fraud on behalf of our subscribers.
*Extended families – primary individual, their spouse/partner, both sets of parents (including those that have been deceased for up to a year), and all children under the age of 25