Cyberspace can be a dangerous place.
So it’s up to you as a consumer to understand your own privacy rights and how best to protect yourself in cyberspace.
Data collection doesn’t always need consent
Data has become an extremely valuable asset, yet some are still negligent when it comes to security of personal information.
Data falls into two categories: the known and the unknown. Known data is information provided by you with consent (ie. name, address, email). Unknown data is taken from you without your knowledge based on your computer and browsing history (ie. IP address, financials).
Do you know your cookies?
We’re not talking about Thin Mints and Tag-a-longs here.
Websites may create a ‘good’ cookie as a browser memo to itself when you revisit a website in order to help you navigate more securely online.
A ‘bad’ cookie, however, may have surfaced from a website running a bunch of ads, which means visiting one website can result in cookies being set by websites you weren’t even aware you were ‘visiting.’
Discrimination based on data history
In the spring of 2014, researchers at Northeastern University in Boston studied the search results of 300 people who visited 16 online retailers and travel agencies. On nine of those sites, they found that customers were shown different prices or different results for the same searches.
Frequenting an online store used by cardholders with poor payment history may be like living in the bad part of town. Some consumers have actually seen their credit limits reduced because of the online stores they shop at.
What can you do to protect your data?
• Widen digital identity – using different browsers, credit cards & devices make it difficult to categorize one data set for a person
• Check privacy settings – especially on default settings
• Review browser cookies & settings – visit http://www.whatismybrowser.org/
• Know privacy policies – read the fine print!
Happy Data Privacy Day. Stay safe.