Computers are ubiquitous, and no facet of our lives remains untouched by them. We are required to fill in our personal information almost everywhere, which is eventually fed into a computer and stored there. Whether it is our office, doctor’s clinic, hospital, online shopping, we leave a trail of personal data on computer systems all over. This data, if it gets into the wrong hands, can be potentially devastating for you. Hence, there is a need to protect and preserve your data from being accessed by an unrelated person.

What is Data Privacy?

Privacy of information is extremely important in this digital age where everything is interconnected and can be accessed and used easily. The possibilities of our private information being extremely vulnerable are very real, which is why we require data privacy. We can describe the concept as:

Data privacy, also known as information privacy, is the necessity to preserve and protect any personal information, collected by any organization, from being accessed by a third party. It is a part of Information Technology that helps an individual or an organization determine what data within a system can be shared with others and which should be restricted.

What Type of Data is Included?

Any personal data that could be sensitive or can be used maliciously by someone is included when considering data privacy. These data types include the following:

  • Online Privacy: This includes all personal data that is given out during online interactions. Most sites have a privacy policy regarding the use of the data shared by users or collected from users.
  • Financial Privacy: Any financial information shared online or offline is sensitive as it can be utilized to commit fraud.
  • Medical Privacy: Any details of medical treatment and history is privileged information and cannot be disclosed to a third party. There are very stringent laws regarding sharing of medical records.
  • Residential and geographic records: sharing of address online can be a potential risk and needs protection from unauthorized access.
  • Political Privacy: this has become a growing concern that political preferences should be privileged information.

Problems with providing Data Security

It is not an easy task to provide data security. Most organizations have problems in providing proper information privacy. These problems include:

  • Difficulty in understanding and defining what is sensitive data and what is not.
  • With data growing in volume by the day, most organizations struggle to create real-time masking facilities and security policies to efficiently protect all the data.
  • Difficulty to screen and review data from a central location with outmoded tools and bloated databases.

Importance of Data Security

Data security is extremely important for any individual or organization, as theft of data, can cause huge monetary losses. Data security can help your organization by:

  • Preventing theft of data;
  • Preserving data integrity;
  • Containing a cost of compliance to data security requirements;
  • Protection of privacy.

Legal provisions for Data Security

The laws that govern data security vary across the world. Different countries and legal systems deal with it in their way. But most laws agree that personal data is shared and processed only for the purpose for which the information has been collected.