Early this year, India’s largest bank, the State Bank of India, found itself mired in controversy when financial information of its customers was leaked through an unprotected server. The exposed data contained partial account numbers, balances, transaction details and much more. Last year, there were several data breaches in India’s biometric Aadhar database putting millions at risk.

Data has become a huge concern of late not just for large organizations such as banks and corporates but also for individuals like you and me. The common question on everyone’s lips is – is my data secure? Or, what will happen when if someone accesses it?

Let’s just find out what data security really means.

Data security means protecting digital data, such as those in a database, from destructive forces and from the unwanted actions of unauthorized users, such as a cyberattack or a data breach.

What is data privacy?

Data privacy can be defined as how a piece of information or data should be handled based on its relative importance. When you meet a stranger for instance, you don’t share anything more than your name till you become familiar with that person. It’s not very different with data either.

What is the need for data privacy?

In this digital age, most people think that data privacy only means to protect their personal information on social media from strangers but they forget that a lot of their data related to health, bank details and much more is already stored with companies whose app they use on a daily basis. If this data gets breached or shared with some third party then they will also gain access to all the information.

Data privacy isn’t limited to individuals.

For a business, almost every company from various sectors maintains a record of all the customers to keep a track on their online behaviour and previous transactions so that they can retarget them for their new products and offers. This also helps them make plans for future projects. This data should not be sold or shared with any third party as it may contain private information of the customer which they do not wish to share. And if this data gets shared then there’s a huge question on that company’s privacy policies and their reputation takes a fall.

Tips for protecting your personal data

Since data privacy has become a big issue, many companies spend a lot of money in order to keep their data safe which include the customer’s data. The average user either doesn’t want to or doesn’t have enough money to spend in order to protect their data. But better be safe than sorry! Here are some tips that will help you to keep your data secure:

  • At home, use a mail slot or locking mailbox, so that thieves can’t steal your mail.
  • Before throwing away your documents, shred them.
  • Regularly check the privacy setting of all your online accounts.
  • Read the security policy properly before allowing apps to access anything on your phone.
  • Use strong passwords for all of your online accounts.

Rahul Dobriyal

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