Your personal data reveals a lot about you, your thoughts, and your life. In today’s digital world where massive amounts of personal data is shared and transferred around the world instantaneously, it is increasingly difficult for people to maintain control of their personal information. In fact, you’ve likely been sharing your personal information, either online or off, with private or public entities for years — including some you’ve likely never even heard of.
Sharing data brings numerous benefits with our on-demand generation. It has also become increasingly necessary for us to do everyday tasks and engage with other people in our day-to-day lives. But it is not without risks.
Unfortunately, these documents can often be exploited, and that’s especially dangerous for individuals both personally and professionally. That is why data must be strictly protected, and this is where data protection comes in.
What is data protection?
Data protection is the process of safeguarding important information from corruption, compromise or loss. It guards your personal information and ensures that you remain in control of it. Additionally, the overall purpose of protecting data is to protect the fundamental rights of the person related to that data. In short, you should be able to decide whether or not you want to share some information, who has access to it, for how long and for what reason.
What are the legal guidelines?
No matter what kind of data you’re storing online or through your company’s servers, whether it’s your payroll information and/or other data from your customers or employees, keeping your data safe should be a number one priority for any company. The the GDPR now in effect (General Data Protection Act) means it’s now a legal requirement to keep your data protected.
What is the GDPR?
In May of 2018, the General Data Protection Act came into force. It’s core purpose is to provide a new set of rules designed to deliver more control over an individual’s personal data. The GDPR ultimately places legal obligations on a processor to maintain records of personal data and how it is processed, providing a much higher level of legal liability should the organization be breached.
Why do we need data protection laws?
Laws are continually being updated to address today’s reality. Ever since the internet was created, people have been sharing more and more of their personal information online. In many countries, privacy rules exist and remain important to help protect people’s information and human rights, but they are not adapted to suit the challenges of today’s connected world. There are millions of people globally that know about cyber security – both risks and rewards. But likewise, there are millions of people that are unaware of these manifestations. Data laws help to protect everyone – both in-the-know, and those that are still learning.
How do you know your data is secure?
It’s vital to know which data is being processed (whether it’s individual data or business data) and why its being processed. In addition, it’s important to identify which safety and security measures are in use. All of this is possible through a thorough data protection audit, which identifies the data flow and whether the data protection regulations are being followed. The audit can be carried out by answering a set of specific questions that have been prepared for that purpose. The results will give a clear overview of the procedures and possible data leaks, which can then be stopped.
What happens if data is leaked?
If personal data is leaked it can cause companies significant damage to their reputation and also bring along penalties, which is why its important to comply with data protection regulations. Following proper data protection procedures is crucial to help prevent cybercrimes by ensuring details, specifically banking, addresses and contact information are protected to prevent fraud.
Fundamentally, nearly every aspect of our lives revolves around data. From social media companies to banks, retailers, and governments — almost every service we use involves the collection and analysis of our personal data. Your name, address, credit card number and more all collected, analyzed and, perhaps most importantly, stored by organizations. If you’re allowing your personal and or business data to be distributed online – you should ensure it is protected properly for both a lawful and ethical sense of security.