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Locking the Doors to Your Data: Keeping Your Data Private in the Digital Age

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You have probably heard of (or lived in) a time when you didn’t have to lock the doors to your home. Over the years, we learned that locks are essential security features for any building and ensure safety and privacy for those inside. This analogy perfectly aligns with where we are today with data privacy. Many are realizing that putting ourselves on the internet with no “locks” or consideration for our security and privacy can be pretty risky. Technologies like VPNs are leaving the data center and becoming consumer subscriptions. Basic tech nerds like me are building whole-home adblockers. There is a newfound interest in what our data is being used for and by whom, and taking back control of what’s ours is a breath of fresh air.

This new movement focused on data privacy is a monumental step in the right direction for us humans surviving in the digital age. However, many non-technical folks still need to take the time to understand the importance of their data and what first steps they can take to improve their security and privacy posture. To help get started, here are three easy checkboxes to begin on your privacy journey.

  1. Use Strong Passwords: Strong, unique passwords for each account are essential. You can use a password manager to create and store passwords securely.
  2. Turn on Two-Factor Authentication: Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring you to enter a code sent to your phone or email. This step can help prevent unauthorized access even if your passwords are compromised.
  3. Limit Personal Information Online: Be wary of sharing your personal information online. Only provide necessary information and try to avoid oversharing on social media. There are also numerous easy-to-use VPN services that can encrypt your internet traffic and prevent hackers and snooping companies from intercepting your data.

For extra credit, look into which web browser focuses on securing and hiding your data vs using/selling it.

While this post has focused on us individuals, businesses must be held to an even stricter standard regarding keeping their customer data (our data) secure and private.

Businesses must prioritize data privacy and security by implementing strict policies and procedures to protect their customers’ personal information. Like individuals, they should ensure only the appropriate people have access to data by implementing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). This helps fulfill one of the core princples of a Zero Trust security model: “Don’t implicitly trust.” (Read more here how Object First helps safeguard backup data in a Zero Trust framework). Businesses should also conduct regular security audits to identify vulnerabilities and take necessary measures to address them. Additionally, businesses should provide regular training to their employees on best data privacy practices and ensure they understand the importance of safeguarding customer data. It is also crucial for organizations to be transparent about their data collection and usage practices and clearly communicate their privacy policies to their customers. By prioritizing data privacy and security, companies can build trust with their customers and protect their reputations.

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