The title seems a bit obvious, right? Of course data privacy is important.  I mean, how could not keeping your data private be a good thing? Spoiler alert: it can’t. There’s only a downside.

Well what “data” are we speaking of, first off? That seems pretty vague…

For us as individuals, data can simply refer to what makes us all identifiable. This can include our address, our Social Security number; health and medical records to take it a step further. For the business sector, it can mean proprietary research and development data, or financial information that shows how a company is spending and investing its money.

And all of this information should be guarded based on relative importance. An example being that you probably wouldn’t think too much about sharing your name with someone you’ve never met before, while introducing yourself to them at a party. But then there’s other information you wouldn’t share with them, at least not initially, until you got to know that person a lot better. If you’re opening a new bank account, however, you’ll probably be asked to share quite a bit of personal information, that goes well beyond your name, and that’s okay.

Digital everything amplifies the importance of data privacy

But in 2018, everything is digital. We’ve digitized everything. This may not technically apply to everyone (shout out to all the senior citizens out there!), but by and large, it does. And if you’re reading this blog, it absolutely does.

When data that should be kept private gets in the wrong hands, bad things can happen. A data breach at a government agency can put top secret information in the hands of the enemy. A breach at a corporation can put proprietary data in the hands of a competitor. And so on and so forth; you get the point.

The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) in 2016 found that 34% of data breaches happen through external means. This is the traditional idea of hacking, where a perpetrator gains access to a system from the outside. About 7% of breaches occurred because of lost or stolen devices, and another 9% occurred because of lost, stolen or misplaced documents. While some of these issues happen by accident, others are planned attacks by hackers to acquire data.

Securing information is key to data privacy

Data security can only work in concert with strong preventative policies to back up the technology. While data security measures can be quite effective, important strategies such as keeping up with patches and utilizing encryption can help ensure that the technology actually works.

Securing information will continue to play a massive role in not only our personal lives, but in business and government. At The 20, our IT Management Platform, 24/7 Help Desk, and Network Operations Center (NOC) are 100% US-based so client information stays secure and in compliance with federal and industry regulations. Our nationwide group of IT companies support almost any technology we come across in the field, which gives us a competitive advantage that no other IT company can touch.

What are you doing to keep your data private?