Do you prefer data privacy or data exploitation? It’s not a matter of if your data is stolen, it is a matter of when, at our current rate. This is why everyone needs a full understanding of data privacy. It’s one topic that manages to stay relevant— Data Privacy. With the emergence of social media platforms that thread within the confined borders of data integrity, one must understand the importance of their data privacy and how some of the biggest social media platforms are exploiting their users’ data for their own profits. This article aims to provide relevant information on the importance of Data Privacy and steps you can take to protect yourself until Ctrl.ly becomes available.
While concerns regarding Data Privacy are not new, the increasing number of evidence makes users warier about their personal data on social media platforms. Earlier this month, T-Mobile was hit with a cybersecurity breach in its database. The breach has since resulted in a confirmed 54.6 million current, former, and prospective customers’ data being stolen. It has also been confirmed that the information gathered from the breach is being sold online. This attack is one of many examples to illustrate the importance of data privacy and why we should start caring more about it.
We all simply scroll past the “Terms and Conditions” to access the social media platforms that we use every day. However, upon closer inspection, you might realize that the terms are not as favorable as you might think.
So What Is Data Privacy?
Simply put, Data Privacy can be defined as the ability of a person to control what or how their personal information is used online. This information can range from simple data such as name, age, and gender to more sensitive data such as social security numbers and addresses.
Why is Data Privacy so Important?
In addition to some of the reasons that have already been stated above, data privacy isn’t just another topic of discussion but rather about privacy itself. Privacy is a basic human right with laws that are put in place to protect your very own digital identity and data.
Personal data is important to everyone as it is literally information about you as an individual. Data privacy is there to protect you from anyone who might want to misuse it.
With the increase in the use of the internet, engaging in online activities has become an essential part of everyday lifestyle. With such engagements online, you are bound to be exposed to services that require some of your personal data in order to use it such as Social Media Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. This has been especially true since the pandemic hit in early 2020 causing many people to turn to social media to keep up with their friends, family, and events that happen around them.
With this additional need that society has given to these social media platforms, it is also important to understand how important your data is in regard to social media.
The Importance of Data Privacy on Social Media
Data mining firms and entities have been collecting personal data from social media users for several purposes including targeted advertisement and are even sold to other agencies and companies. The same information that you provide for free and agree to the terms of is the same information that these companies are charging premium prices for without your knowledge.
One example of these companies is Cambridge Analytica that had a massive data scandal back in 2018. The scandal changed the way people perceived data and the importance it was for data privacy. Millions of Facebook users’ data were unlawfully collected by Cambridge Analytica that was used for a political agenda. This scandal started a massive uproar from the public to which both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica was put in the spotlight. Long story short, Facebook’s negligence in data privacy had exposed the data of millions of their users to a Cambridge Analytica researcher (Aleksandr Kogan) who used the data for political advertising on Trump’s campaign.
This is but one of the many incidents regarding data privacy breaches, with many more that we are not even aware of. While it may seem like a rather insignificant part of your online experience, your data can be used for several misused purposes. It can affect your reputation, close friends and family, and even your freedom of speech.
It’s Not Just Facebook
It doesn’t just stop with Facebook or even with T-Mobile. Over the years, there have been several data breaches that have happened. From the 2016 Twitter Breach that resulted in the compromise of 32 million encrypted passwords to the recent 2021 LinkedIn breach which resulted in the data of 700 million users data being sold on the dark web.
With new technology comes a darker side of the internet that continues to exist. The important thing right now as an individual and user of these platforms is to be aware of the situation and take precautions to protecting yourself and the ones you love.
Here is a list of some of the best recommendations for protecting your privacy:
- Secure your accounts with complex and strong passwords and setting up additional security measures such as 2-factor authentication
- Protecting your web browsing using adblockers and using a VPN to mask your location and IP address
- Get strong and reliable anti-virus software for your computer and devices (this includes mobile and tablet devices)
- Encrypt your data and devices using reputable software like AxCrypt
- Adopt smart and good practices such as frequently updating your software and devices to get the latest firmware.
- Do not install an unknown app that is flagged by your antivirus.
Read 6 Smart Ways to Protect Your Personal Data Privacy for more information.
It is easier said than done. However, these recommendations will help you out in the long run and give you the best chance. Data privacy is your responsibility as well so you need to do your part in it.
Don’t forget to pre-register for Ctrl.ly so you can control your data privacy. Here at Ctrl.ly we obviously prefer data privacy over exploitation, but we know there are bad people on the Internet as well.