What Is Data Protection?

Mohammed Emran /
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Protecting data is a part of our digital life that we cannot ignore. Security, privacy, and prevention of data breaches are some of the main reasons data protection is so crucial in our day-to-day life. 

Nowadays, people live their lives mostly online and part of the online experience is convenience. That means saving passwords on browsers, credit card autofill, and bank information saved in the notes of our computer or phones. 

Data protection is about safeguarding all the sensitive and personal information from corruption, compromise, or loss. As data storage increases and becomes more prominent, it only makes sense to add an extra layer of protection that will ensure the safekeeping of privacy. 

In order to successfully protect data, there are key strategies that can help you get started in making sure that no one has access to your personal information except for you and those you trust. 

There are levels to the amount of security certain types of data require. For example, your names, address, and phone number are considered “Low Sensitivity.” However, something like your social security number, bank information, and passwords are considered “High Sensitivity” and require a different kind of safekeeping.

No matter what kind of protection you need, this quick guide will teach you which are the best tools to maximize your online security and protect data from prying eyes. 

Data Protection Essentials

What exactly counts as data protection? 

Here’s what you need to know.

  • The term “data protection” is basically used to describe data that needs to be safeguarded and protected. It entails backing up data into secure networks and having a way to recover it in case it is lost, damaged, or accessed by the wrong person.
  • There are two key areas that form part of data protection that you should remember: data life-cycle management and information life cycle management. Data life cycle management focuses on automatically moving data from online to offline sources for safekeeping. Information life cycle management concentrates on strategizing the best ways to protect important data from user errors, malware, and virus attacks.
  • Data protection aims to protect data by any identified or unidentified living person, which includes names, emails, phone numbers, addresses, etc.
  • A big part of data protection revolves around backup systems that can store and update data whenever a change is made, create exact replicas of websites or files, and enable faster data recovery. 

What Is Data Privacy?

Though the two concepts are closely related, data privacy is a little different from data protection. 

While data protection focuses on strategies to secure the privacy and integrity of your data. Data privacy is the guideline for how the data should be collected; it ranks the importance of the data based on the level of sensitivity. 

Most commonly, data privacy is mainly applied to personal health information, which includes financial information, medical records, and social security numbers. 

The main takeaway with data privacy is that it ensures sensitive data, or personal health information, is only available to approved parties. This helps prevent cyber criminals from accessing, exposing, or using the data in inappropriate ways. 

You may not be aware of this but there are data protection regulations that enforce data privacy and make sure that proper guidelines are followed. Whenever companies or individuals do not follow data regulations, fines are applied and sometimes a business could even experience the loss of brand authority. 

Best Ways to Protect Data Online

Considering most, if not all, of your personal information is somewhere in the digital world, it makes sense that you implement ways to protect data online. 

  • Strong Passwords
    Using strong passwords can enhance your online security and protect your data more than you know. In the past, users could protect their data with simple passwords like “Mike1234” or by using someone’s birthday, but that’s simply not the case anymore.
    Devices now can suggest strong passwords for you they automatically save into your device or into your password managers. These suggested strong passwords are complicated enough that it would be really difficult for someone to crack them.
  • Data Encryption
    If you’ve never encrypted your data before, it’s time to at least consider it because it’s a great way to safeguard your data and protect it from exposure. Data encryption is easier than you might think. There are programs available that can help you encrypt online transactions.
    By encrypting data, like online transactions, you’re basically scrambling the information that appears on the Internet so that it’s extra difficult for someone to figure out your bank information, for example.
    You can also look for a “lock” icon on your browser to make sure that certain information that you send through Internet sources is protected and is not available to just anyone on the way to its final destination.
  • Wi-Fi Protection
    The way a lot of cyber-crimes start is through Wi-Fi connections. It is highly recommended to not complete any monetary transactions or access your bank information when you are connected to a public Wi-Fi.
    It is crucial to stick to protected Wi-Fi networks in which you can safely access your data and files without risking anybody being able to view your information without your knowledge. Also, stay on the lookout for phishing emails and anything that comes from an unknown source.
  • Firewalls
    Firewalls are basically used to ensure that only authorized users have access to the data stored in the device or cloud service. By enabling firewalls, you are filtering all the network traffic and limiting the transfer of data so that it’s only available within approved users.
  • Endpoint Protection
    This type of online protection can help protect the gateways to your network. Things like routers, ports, and all the connected devices to the Wi-Fi would be safely tucked under a protective shield that prevents software from being compromised and exposed. 

Always remember that enhancing data protection in both your personal and professional life is like remembering to lock your house or car doors; it’s necessary and important. The consequences of poor data protection are not worth the headache. Better to safeguard your information now before it’s too late.