Online privacy, also known as Internet/digital privacy refers to how much personal data remains secure while browsing and interacting online - it has become a growing concern with browsing history at increased risk. To give just one example: The number of data breaches publicly reported in America since September 2021 increased by 17%.
One can never be too careful with their personal information, and online privacy is a must-have these days. The risks are greatest when you browse the web without encryption or protection such as HTTPS on any website that asks for passwords (which happens more often than we think). But even mainstream and wealthy websites like Facebook have had users' data leak since July 2016.
Imagine if your private messages on Facebook were visible to the public. What would you post? How much of yourself are YOU willing share when there's no one around except for computer screens and internet connections?!
Why is online privacy important?
The idea of digital privacy has become more important than ever before. With the ability to publicly share so much information about yourself, it can be difficult at times not wanting your entire life story floating around on social media or online databases accessible by anyone who wants them—even if you don't intend for this kind of data mining.
However, there are ways that we protect ourselves from these prying eyes: For starters, Just make sure everything that is shared only applies within certain groups; keep separate accounts for different audiences (family versus friends); carefully choose which apps collect user habits such as browsing history etc.; think through how long sensitive documents will still remain private once saved digitally.
The importance of digital privacy is clear once you try to make a list about things that are private and those which aren’t. For instance, your medical records shouldn't be shared with strangers but what else might get exposed without our knowledge if there is a data breach? The data they collect on us can lead wrong-doers in so many different directions, which is why data security and breach prevention is the main key to online security.
GDPR and CCPA
The GDPR and CCPA are two examples of laws that have been put in place to protect online privacy. These regulations set strict limitations on how companies can use consumer data, giving you more control over personal information and keeping their true data intentions transparent to consumers.
The European Union has a new law to protect citizens' privacy. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was created in 2016 and went into effect on May 25th, 2018 as an effort by the bloc's member states "to give every person living within its borders ... greater control over their personal information."
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a similar law and another option when it comes to protecting your personal data from companies and businesses. This law, which was passed in 2018, requires companies to state exactly how they are using customer data and gives individuals the right to delete or opt-out of certain services if desired. This means that companies must provide a way for customers to view, delete, or opt-out of certain data collection practices.
Having these laws in place has been incredibly beneficial, as it means consumers have more control over the kind of information that gets shared with third parties and who they can share it with. These regulations also ensure that organizations must be honest and transparent when it comes to collecting our data and that they are held accountable if there is a breach in privacy.
Here are some easy ways to help protect your online data
- Use Strong Passwords: Make sure all of your passwords are unique and complex. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts and avoid using easily guessed words in your passwords.
- Utilize Two-Factor Authentication: Enabling two-factor authentication on your devices and online accounts adds an extra layer of security to make it harder for malicious actors to access your data.
- Keep Your Software Updated: Make sure you are running the latest version of any software or apps that you download and use on your devices. Outdated versions may have known vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cybercriminals.
- Be Selective About What You Share On Social Media: When sharing personal information on social media, be mindful of who you are sharing it with and consider whether or not the content could put your privacy at risk.
- Be Aware Of Online Privacy Policies: Make sure to read any online privacy policies before giving a company access to your data. Familiarize yourself with what kind of data they collect, how they use it, and how you can control it.
- Utilize a Virtual Private Network (VPN): A VPN is a great way to protect your data when browsing the web, as it routes all of your traffic through an encrypted connection that makes it difficult for anyone snooping on your online activities. By taking these digital privacy precautions, we can all help protect ourselves from potential harm, and remain in control of our personal data.
Digital Privacy Is Now Essential To Data Security
Online digital privacy has become an essential part of modern life, as the amount of information available online continues to grow. We have the right to expect our personal data to remain secure, that companies do not misuse it, and that our information is not shared without our explicit consent. By understanding how digital privacy works, we can protect ourselves from potential harm and ensure that our data remains secure.
As technology becomes more advanced, so does the need for protecting ourselves. It’s essential to be familiar with laws such as GDPR and CCPA, and to understand the implications of sharing personal data online. As consumers, we have a responsibility to make sure our digital privacy is respected and taken seriously by companies, so that our data remains secure and in the right hands. By being mindful of digital privacy, we can protect ourselves from potential misuse and keep our information safe.
Digital privacy is something that must be taken seriously and guarded, as our lives become increasingly digitalized. With the right practices in place, we can all enjoy the benefits of technology without feeling like our personal information is constantly at risk. If you want to ensure your digital privacy remains intact, make sure that you're aware of any regulations or laws that may apply, and take the necessary steps to ensure your data remains secure.