Steps to Balance Privacy and Security on the Internet

What Exactly is Privacy?

Privacy can be best defined as the right to be left alone or the freedom from interruption or intrusion. Information privacy refers to the right to have some control over how your personal information is collected and used. Because of technological improvements at the speed of light, information privacy is growing more challenging by the minute as more data is captured and transferred.

As technology progresses, data applications are getting more complex (and even intrusive). As a result, businesses are met with a highly complicated risk matrix when it comes to protecting the protection of personal data. As a result, privacy has swiftly become the most critical consumer protection issue, if not citizen protection worry, in the global information economy.

From a business standpoint, privacy is described as a company's capacity to ethically and openly gather, handle, and preserve sensitive data (including personally identifiable information and other regulated data).

When it comes to privacy, businesses must ask themselves the following questions −

  • What information will we gather?
  • How will the information be gathered?
  • What will we do with this information?
  • Who is going to have access to this data?
  • Is this information shared with third-party vendors?
  • How long do you think we'll keep this data?
  • How are we going to keep critical information safe?

What is Security?

Internet security refers to a collection of security procedures that are used to protect online activities and transactions. Malicious software can infect and damage systems by hacking into computer systems, websites, or email addresses. It can also steal your identity by hacking your personal information, such as bank account information and credit card numbers. Internet security is a subset of larger cybersecurity and computer security issues that focus on the risks and vulnerabilities associated with online access and use.

Businesses put security measures in place to provide regulated access to information. This is done in order to deliver better service and user experiences to clients. Suppose you lose your credit card while traveling, for example. In that case, you may phone customer care from anywhere in the globe, and a customer service representative will be able to access your account and deactivate the card within minutes.

When we add privacy to the mix, though, things get a bit more complicated. While a customer service person may be granted access to your account details after answering a few security questions, the same employee will not be permitted to check a family member's account, even if they have access credentials to that information.

Balancing between Privacy and Security on the Internet

Since Edward Snowden's revelations concerning the NSA snooping on individuals and politicians throughout the world, a debate in the United States has raged regarding the correct balance between national security and individual privacy and liberty. Most lately, the discussion has centered on encryption: whether technology companies should be permitted to create programs that encrypt their users' messages in such a way that only their intended receivers – including governments – can read them. It's a discussion that governments and individuals all across the world should be paying attention to.

It's critical to strike a balance between cybersecurity and privacy when it comes to commercial applications. For example, if your IT staff monitors employees to ensure security by recording every click, email, and keyboard, privacy will be compromised. On the other hand, if your workers use an external mobile device to access internal work-related services without any oversight, both the business and the individual may be exposed to needless danger.

It's always advisable to focus on establishing a balance that assures cybersecurity privacy while debating privacy vs. security at your next meeting. Finding the correct solutions that offer a certain amount of visibility to detect malicious activity on the network while yet being high-level enough is the first step in finding a balance.

Five Critical Cybersecurity Habits

If you're concerned about the security of your personal information, you're not alone. You won't always be able to avoid massive data breaches, but you may make efforts to protect your personal information from hackers.

Implement the following five critical cybersecurity habits on your own computers, phones, and accounts to boost your online security quickly, no matter where you are.

Make Sure Your Emails Are Encrypted

Your email is already safe for the most part if you use a secure, cloud-based email system that you access via a specialized app or a website that begins with "HTTPS" in the URL bar. With email encryption, you can do even more to secure your emails from being viewed by others.

When you use email encryption, your messages' text and subject lines are jumbled and encoded in such a way that only the intended person with the decoder key can decode and read them.

There are a variety of low-cost and no-cost encryption services available, all of which assist ensure that your emails are only visible to you. Understand where the service's keys and decrypted communications are stored, regardless of which service you pick, so you know the exact amount of security and privacy is given. This adds extra protection to whatever your email provider is already doing to keep your data safe.

Keep Track of Your Passwords

Hackers can easily access your personal information if your passwords are simple and/or overused. Each password should have a mix of letters, numbers, symbols, and capitalization. Passwords such as your street name or birthdate should not be evident or quickly guessable.

Using the built-in password generators in the Google Chrome browser or any major password manager makes creating safe passwords simple. These generators automatically generate a completely randomized password that can withstand even the most powerful brute force attacks.

Learn about Privacy Policies

Understanding how firms acquire, utilize, and retain your personal data is part of becoming more digitally secure. Companies that gather personally identifiable information are required by law to maintain key infrastructure security. However, it is your responsibility to evaluate what each service you sign up for does to protect your personal information from cyber-attacks.

Take the time to go over a company's privacy rules and settings before engaging with them online. Remember that privacy rules that don't explain how your data is obtained are suspect— every website collects data somehow, and that technique should be obvious to you. Look for information on what data is gathered, where and how it is shared, and how to opt out of sharing and restrict the amount of data the firm maintains on its servers.

Monitoring in Real-Time

More than antivirus and firewalls (and malware) software will be required to secure business networks, infrastructure, and massive oceans of data. But it doesn't make them any less necessary, so keep them up to date as you work on a solid backup strategy.

Companies will need to use enhanced monitoring and reporting technology in the future to detect and respond to internal and external risks quickly. Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data analytics may be used to discover abnormalities that are typically missed by human IT security teams in real-time.

Plan for Reaction to an Incident

Developing a clear incident response strategy is critical regardless of your position on the privacy vs. security argument. Addressing business concerns, assigning responsibilities, identifying key performance indicators to measure the event, implementing the appropriate tools, and establishing your organization's communication strategy all require a plan. You can rapidly respond to the threat and successfully deal with the aftermath if everyone understands their role during an active situation.