Privacy and Personal Data: A Safe Flow of Information

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Personal data is said to consist of information that is related to a person’s mental and physical health. This information may also consist of data that is used by an individual to perform financial transactions i.e. credit card details and bank account number etc. Personal data may also be sensitive in nature. For example, data that contains information about an individual’s religious beliefs, political opinions, court proceedings (if any) and gender preference.

For compliance with best practices in business, an organization should be fully aware of the laws dedicated to safeguarding privacy and personal data. A breach in privacy can cause a person to lose all data and become liable to the hazards lurking around the environment.

Information regarding financial transactions and bank particulars can make a person lose the amount of hard-earned money he’s been saving up for so long. This data can also include the particulars of a person’s medical insurance which can be misused by someone who doesn’t possess any medical benefits.

Personal data can be accessed through emails, faxes and computer sharing etc. that can deprive you of vital information. A person having access to your identity can use it to commit fraud or any other crime. For example, a person having your identity can easily make purchases at various places and make you lose all that money you’ve been saving for your kids’ college fund. What’s even worse is the fact that the same individual can use your identity to cause harm for others by making contacts with extremists or something similar.

For big businesses and organizations trading on an international level, access to personal data can cost them losses worth millions of dollars. When a third party manages to gain access to a company’s data, the trading being carried between two companies will be badly affected. The information which forms the basis of this trade can easily leak into the market causing the companies to cease their actions as someone would be manufacturing and selling the same items at a much lower price than decided.

To protect yourself and your company from potential hazards, you must be able to keep all sensitive information in a secure place. Electronically held personal information can be encrypted so that it’s not accessible by an intruder. Also, the computers being used should be equipped with the relevant spyware that can prohibit any viruses from entering the system via emails and websites.

Papers containing confidential information should be discarded by shredding when required. Make sure that the passwords that you use are strong and the data you’re sending through fax isn’t that important. That’s because faxes are more likely to be exposed to other individuals as compared to couriers which are delivered to the right person.

Further reading: Corporate Governance | Audit | Performance Improvement

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