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What is data privacy and why is it important?

We hear about data privacy all the time. But why is it important to keep your personal data private? And how can you do it?

In today’s technology driven world, we have access to endless data about anything and everything. And while we all enjoy the benefits that the internet brings, there’s undoubtedly some bad that comes with the good. Sure, it’s great to have immediate answers to all of our questions, but what happens when others start asking questions about you? Most of us have nothing to hide, but that doesn’t mean we want our personal information readily available to unknown individuals and companies. Leaving your online data open to the public is a dangerous game and could have serious consequences for you and your loved ones. So, why exactly is it important to keep your data private and how can you go about doing so?

What Exactly is Data Privacy?

Like many words in the dynamic world of technology, data privacy is a term which has only recently gained popularity. We’ve heard it tossed around in all the talk of data breaches, but what exactly does it mean? And more importantly, how does it impact you? Well, the first step in understanding data privacy is to understand that it is different from data security. Data security refers to how organizations protect data from external threats and malicious actors. Data privacy, on the other hand, refers to how your data is collected, shared, and used by companies. Understanding this difference is crucial because even if a company hasn’t been affected by a recent privacy breach, they could still be using your data for shady purposes.

As most of us know by now, there are countless unknown entities that want to gain access to your personal information. What most of us don’t know, however, is how dangerous it can be for us to blindly trust the companies which we already share our data with. As of now, there are very few organizations that have your best interests in mind as you surf the web. The ones that do, however, can help you keep the perils of the internet away from you and your family.

The Importance of Data Privacy

Before we figure out how to avoid the unknowns of the internet, let’s discuss why it’s important to keep your data safe! At this point, all of us have shared some form of personal information on the internet. Think of all the social media accounts and services that you’ve signed up for during your time on the web! Nearly all of these sites require some sort of data from you to complete the signup process. Now, most only require information such as your name, email address, or phone number but there are certain sites or services that ask for even more. Most of us have shared our Social Security numbers, credit card information, and even sensitive medical information on the internet at some point.

Now you might be asking, so what? Surely these sites aren’t permitted to store my personal information, right? Wrong. This is where the importance of data privacy comes into play. Without laws requiring them to do otherwise, companies are permitted to share your info however they see fit. Not only are companies currently allowed almost complete control over how they store your data, they can also sell it to third party groups with little to no consequence. This means that your personal information is out there on the open market. And it’s being sold to unknown parties without you having any say! Thankfully, this tool can help you determine the risk level of your data and keep it out of danger’s reach. Without such a tool, hackers could gain access to your personal data and use it to scam you and your family.

Data Privacy Today

Unlike the European Union and its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law, the United States currently lacks any federal mandate with the intent of protecting the online data of the consumer. This leaves the door open for companies to exploit the data which they constantly store from their customers. Without any regulations restricting them, companies will continue to behave recklessly with your personal information. Even without a data breach this can lead to unknown parties accessing your data and using it however they please.

You may be surprised to learn that there is no federal legislation designed to protect your online privacy. Well buckle up because it only gets more surprising from there! Not only is there a federal absence of consumer protection laws, most states also fail to protect your personal information. In fact, there are currently only three states which have laws designed to curb the unauthorized use of consumer data.

So, your online data is likely in the hands of entities that you’re unaware of and may not trust. As we’ve seen, even the largest corporations can’t be trusted to keep your sensitive information safe. Basically, the internet is still a digital “wild west” and you have to be vigilant to avoid data bandits. One way to do this is through the use of a monitoring tool. A tool like this helps you stay aware of online threats and prevents your data from being compromised.

What Else Can You Do?

So, if the government doesn’t have your back and neither do the companies whose services you enjoy, then who does? Well, that’s where a service like Privacy Bee comes in. Rather than hoard your personal information for marketing purposes or in the hopes of selling it to other parties, Privacy Bee works to scrub your data from the dark corners of the web. With their variety of consumer focused features, Privacy Bee is a great resource for keeping your data safe. Though we lack a federal law, there are still ways for us to stop the unrestricted use of our data. As our lives become further intertwined with the internet, the issue of keeping your info out of harm’s way will only become more relevant. And as it does, a service like Privacy Bee may prove essential in making sure companies can’t exploit the data privacy of consumers.