Why Data Privacy is Important

Our top VPN providers ExpressVPN and VyprVPN were dedicated supporters of Data Privacy Day, a privacy awareness project of staysafeonline.org. In honor of his day, these two providers have worked hard to promote better privacy for all Internet users worldwide. It starts with knowing about the dangers out there and how to keep data safe from these very real threats.

What is Data Privacy Day?

The 28th of January is Data Privacy Day, a day dedicated to the promotion of respect for and the preservation of the privacy of data, and to enabling trust. This is the 7th year celebration of the special day, and the world has joined together to promote better privacy for everyone online. People everywhere need to know really how much of their personal data is being siphoned by third parties, and how to stop it from being so abused. Data Privacy Day helps them learn about how websites should safeguard their data, and how to safely share data as well. Companies must be honest about their data collection and storage practices, thereby showing true respect for the individuals whose data they hold. Moreover, they must clearly ask permission from consumers before any of this gathered data is used for any other purpose than is obvious to the customer upfront. Finally, consumers need to know how they can easily secure their own data online so that they do not become victims of data abuse and theft.

Learn Good Data Privacy Practices

Good data privacy for individuals and companies alike means the ability to manage data effectively. These people can learn how to control where their data goes and how it is used in a few simple steps. With much of the world’s population online, they need to become fully aware of the dangers they face so that they can start taking data privacy seriously.

Personal information is very valuable to marketers, the government and cybercriminals. Along with this, ideas that are openly shared and online activities must be guarded. The Internet gives third parties all over the world access to this data, which they use to get rich. Users’ IP addresses, where they connect to the Internet, the devices that they go online with, the content they access, and the browsers they use are just a few of the pieces of data that these third parties like to collect about everyone that they are able to track online.

Contrary to popular belief, using a website or online service does not mean automatically surrendering data to the administrators of these websites and the owners of the services they provide. Online businesses will always try to take as much data as they can, however, so that they can make more money. They use cookies and other tools that are specially developed to create profiles of their users. But users can refuse behavioral tracking by completing a website survey on www.networkadvertising.org. Health information has been safeguarded by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act since 1996. Students are also protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. People have recourse for any violations committed.

With the advent of portable, Internet enabled devices, access to the Internet has more than tripled. People can go online in more and more places everyday. Yet the world has been slow to catch up with this growth in terms of online security. Internet security for home and office networks has been developing steadily, but mobile device security and awareness is sorely lacking. The result has been focused attacks on mobile phone and tablet users, mostly centered on malware loaded apps. Identity theft also remains a major threat. Cybercriminals crave this data because it enables them to commit fraud. People need to be careful of what they share on online accounts because they can never be sure that this data is not leaking out somehow. They should never share personal information publicly. Internet users should also know to check all the websites that they use for HTTPS and other security measures. This is especially true for websites where they shop or book because their passwords and bank accounts and credit card information can be stolen.

Protect Data From Greedy Third Parties

We cannot stress enough how important it is to use proper passwords that are hard for anyone to guess or crack. Each online account also needs to have a different password, and a unique username. A different email for sites that require one is also recommended. Password managers can help with this so that people are not tempted to reuse passwords or to keep a record of them.

Users need to keep their browsers clean to prevent tracking and data theft. Cookies are the major culprits here, so they need to be regularly deleted. Browsing histories should also be cleared often. Along with this comes a good device security regimen. This begins with a professional antivirus program, a strong firewall, and a top VPN service. These tools will help users stay safe by alerting them to potential threats and blocking them from known ones. Regularly updating other software is the third component of this device security regimen. Software, like your operating system and other apps, can allow hackers and spies through if it is not updated to the latest versions.

Additional privacy can be secured by using only those websites that have made a commitment to not track their users. Private search engines, email providers and more are available to people. They may not look as good as other services, but they are awesome where it really counts. The same goes for Internet connections themselves. When people use free WiFi hotspots, they are vulnerable to any number of privacy and security threats. Finally, when browsing or checking email and messages, people must refuse to open any content from unknown or unverified senders and always wait for a complete log out of their browsing sessions before they close the browser windows.

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