How to Maintain Your Online Privacy
- Post by Jessica Dutko
- January 10, 2019
Online technology is booming. The internet allows everyone to know everything about everybody. Posting daily updates to hundreds of people has become the norm. But you are different, you prefer to stay private. Here are steps you can take to effectively maintain your online privacy.
Your information is amassed every time you go online. That’s why it’s important to understand the means behind data collection and how it occurs. Recognizing the different aspects of data collection can actually help you maintain your online privacy; and learning about it is the first step.
The terms and conditions of a website are similar to privacy policies but come in the form of a contract. This legal document incorporates both federal and company standards, rules, and provisions that a user must agree to in order to use the product or service. Many times, these agreements include the company’s ability to track, collect, and sell your information to third-party businesses. Therefore, by clicking “I Agree” you are allowing a company to use your personal information as outlined in their legal document.
Websites and apps use computer cookies to track and collect your personal data. They present minimal risks to your computer and serve as storage files that save your online information. With varying life spans, some types of cookies allow you to effectively navigate the web while others gather and track your personal data. Used by companies as outlined in their privacy policies and terms and conditions, your information can end up almost anywhere. Computer cookies do have certain advantages, but while they can be helpful, they can also be intrusive. That is why you have settings to maintain your online privacy.
Even though companies are allowed to collect and track online data, you are ultimately in control. Here are a couple of options you can use to maintain your online privacy.
The European Union’s General Data Protection Act (GDPR) has set the stage for future privacy laws. Effective May of 2018, the GDPR has made it mandatory for businesses to obtain consent from users before any personal data is collected. The law is meant to give people privacy and control over what happens to their personal information. And so far, the Europeans have enjoyed their new ability to manage their data. This has led to renewed attention to online privacy in the U.S. The result: online privacy laws are coming to America.
In June of 2018, the California legislature passed the largest amendment to privacy law that the United States has ever seen: the California Consumer Protection Act. This Act will be effective January 1, 2020 and will allow businesses to collect personal data under numerous stipulations. These stipulations will help put the power back into the hands of the people. With it, individual users can decide what happens to their personal information.
This law is expected to reach people far outside of the Golden State. In fact, it is predicted that all of the U.S. may be impacted. This is because a business operating across multiple states cannot easily tell the difference between one IP address and another. Therefore, it is likely that many businesses operating in America will change their processes as a whole to accommodate the new regulations. Consequently, this privacy law may affect you.
Changes to online privacy rules can be difficult to follow, but you should try to understand them. Familiarizing yourself with internet privacy regulations and settings will help you have more control today. And, by knowing what’s to come in the future, you’ll be sure to maintain your online privacy in the best possible way.
If you’d like to know more about how CRU Solutions can help keep your business safer, contact us.