How do I Protect Data Privacy?

Malcolm Tatum

Data privacy is a concern for individuals as well as businesses. With the increase in the unauthorized use of personal and corporation data, steps that were once effective to protect proprietary information must be augmented with additional strategies. If you want to establish a workable strategy that effectively keeps your data from falling into the wrong hands, you must use a combination of passwords, security clearances, and various types of software that ensure no one can get to your information without your permission.

It's important to encrypt flash drives to keep data private.
It's important to encrypt flash drives to keep data private.

An essential in data privacy is to always make use of passwords to protect your data. While many businesses do establish security protocols that include the assignment of passwords allowing employees access to specific databases, not all employees take the time to create a password that inhibits access to the hard drive of the desktop or laptop device they use for business purposes. Many operating systems include this feature, and provide an easy setup of a security code. Making use of this feature will ensure that others cannot access files saved on your hard drive, or use your security clearance to gain access to data that is stored on the company’s server.

Having a secured hard drive is part of protecting data privacy.
Having a secured hard drive is part of protecting data privacy.

When setting passwords or passcodes, it is important to not make them too obvious. For example, using the name of a child would not be a good idea, since anyone who knows you well would have easy access to that information. In like manner, using only numbers or only letters in your codes weakens your attempts at security. For best results, go with a code that employs a mixture of numbers and letters, and has some logical relevance that is known only to you.

Guarding your codes is also essential to data privacy. Keeping them written down in a notebook or in any place where they can be discovered and used is not a good idea. In like manner, be wary of anyone looking on as you enter your security codes. Take steps to obscure your movements as you enter the code, and your data is much more likely to remain safe.

There is also the option of increasing data privacy by setting permissions on different files and folders. While this may be somewhat cumbersome when it comes to opening a file quickly, this preventive measure can come in handy if someone has found a way around your system security codes. As long as the permissions do not include the same sequence of letters and numbers as your security codes, the use of permissions may be enough to discourage the attempt, and thus keep your data away from prying eyes.

Disk encryption is another viable strategy when it comes to maintaining data privacy. Software can be used to effectively create a disk within a disk, allowing you to place sensitive documents on this inner disk and out of reach of anyone who happens to attempt to view the contents of your hard drive. Data thieves will only see what is saved on the outer disk, and not be aware that a secret or inner disk even exists. This same software can be used to encrypt a removable drive, like a flash drive, thus allowing you to secure data even if it is not residing on your hard drive or the company server.

As information theft becomes more common, new software that is designed to offer enhanced data privacy is being developed and released to the general public. At the same time, new versions of different operating systems are enhancing their inherent security measures, providing end users with more options for protecting proprietary data. Make sure you investigate which safeguards you already have at your disposal, and determine what additional data protection you can obtain by investing in proven software programs. With the right combination, you can keep your data safe while still maintaining your access at all times.

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