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Data is collected everywhere today, from the websites you visit to the paperwork filled out at the doctor’s office. This data is invaluable to those who wish to use it for nefarious purposes, such as identity theft. Safeguarding personal information and data is crucial, and there are ways to protect it no matter where you are.
What Data Should be Protected?
Almost all data should be protected, as anything can be used to get more information about a person or to use it for things like identity theft. Some of the most important types of data to protect, whether using fax online via email or posting on social media, include the following.
- PII: Any personally identifying information should be protected. This includes social security numbers, birthdays, addresses, family member names, and more.
- Health: All healthcare data is protected under HIPAA and should be protected, whether you’re at the doctor’s office or the emergency room.
- Financial: Carefully guard financial information, such as income or bank account numbers, to protect against theft.
- Passwords: Never write down passwords somewhere they could be found or tell them to anyone. Avoid using the same password for multiple things, like email and social media.
Protecting Data for Businesses
Businesses are susceptible to data breaches, which can compromise the data of all customers and employees. Robust security measures are needed to protect confidential data, regardless of size or type of business. Cybersecurity can’t be overstated today. It can include requiring 2-factor authentication for logins, having policies in place to follow regulations like HIPAA, and keeping software up to date so it has the latest security updates.
Personal Data Protection
Individuals also need to protect their data. Be cautious about sharing personally identifying information or financial information with businesses unless it is necessary and if there is a need to some sensitive then you must know the levels of data encryption for a secure transfer. Check credit reports regularly to make sure there is nothing on there that shouldn’t be or that there aren’t any signs of identity theft. Updating passwords regularly and using 2-factor authentication where available can also help keep data secure.
What to Do If Data Privacy is Violated?
When data privacy is violated, it’s important to try to get it under control as fast as possible to minimize the amount of data stolen and to protect any individuals involved. Use the following steps after any data breach.
- How Did It Happen? Determining how it happened can help prevent it in the future and make sure all data is secure.
- Change Passwords: Individuals impacted by the data breach should change their passwords, as they may be compromised. Businesses should have employees change their passwords as a first step to ensure data recovery for business, because if one was compromised and allowed the data breach to occur.
- Apply for Monitoring: Individuals can apply for credit monitoring services to keep an eye on their credit and make sure their identity wasn’t stolen. Businesses may offer these services through a 3rd party provider for a period of time, typically one year, to help individuals who were impacted.
Data is invaluable, for more than just those who collect it for legitimate purposes. When data is stolen, it can be used in a variety of ways, including identity theft. Businesses and individuals should work to protect private data and ensure it is safeguarded to prevent potential issues. Use the information here to make sure your data is protected no matter where you are or why it’s needed.