Why Online Privacy Matters

Why Online Privacy Matters.

With our ever-increasing digital presence, online privacy may sound like a bit of an oxymoron. But with more of your personal and financial information out there than ever before, it’s important to take steps to protect your privacy online.

The Value of Your Personal Information

Your personal and financial information is of great value to a multitude of individuals, and organizations. But who is collecting the data? What types of data are they collecting? And what is being done with it?

Who is Collecting Your Data?

Cybercriminals aren't the only ones trying to gather information about you. Legitimate businesses may be as well. Data can be collected by websites you visit, social media platforms post to, or apps you download.

What Types of Data are Being Collected?

Data being collected about you can include personally identifiable information (PII), basic information revealed by your browser itself, or your browsing activities.

  • Personally Identifiable Information. Personally Identifiable Information is personal information that can be used to directly identify you. This includes information such as your name, address, date of birth, and social security number. 

  • Technical Information Revealed by Your Browser. When you connect to the internet, your browser reports information such as your IP address, location, what browser you're using, what type of device you're on, its operating system, and screen resolution. Although this information doesn’t seem very specific to you, it can still be used to identify you.

  • Browsing and Other Online Activities. The sites you visit use cookies to track your site preferences and improve user experience, but these cookies can also be used to paint an accurate digital picture of you. Information about the actions you take online, including Google searches, social media check-ins, and shopping history, is all up for grabs. 

What is Done with Your Data?

Aside from the obvious motivations of cybercriminals, what could be the motivation for any entity to collect information about you? There is big money to made with customer data—either selling it or using it. Data brokers collect your information in order to sell it to companies. These companies in turn use it for marketing or advertising purposes. 

Steps to Protect Your Privacy Online

Your information should belong to you, and that’s why it’s important to take steps to protect your online privacy. Here are some tips we suggest. 

  • Use strong passwords and store them securely. Always choose passwords at least 8 characters in length, and containing a mix upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Avoid saving passwords in your browser.
  • Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) when available.
  • Review your privacy settings in all apps, especially those for social media, to make sure you are not revealing information publicly.
  • Backup your data to avoid ransomware attacks.
  • Keep the operating systems on your desktop and mobile devices up to date. These updates often address security issues.
  • Secure your home Wi-Fi network with a password and WPA2 encryption.
  • Utilize a tool such as Qkey to securely store your sensitive password and payment information. 
  • Qkey Protects Your Privacy 

    QKey is a personal chip-enabled key that securely stores your password and payment information. QKey utilizes the same Chip-and-PIN technology currently being used by the financial industry in debit and credit cards. Keep your financial and personal information secure and deny access to hackers. Learn how Qkey can put you back in control of your online privacy and security.