How to protect your personal data ?
Allowing them to better target their customers for advertising purposes, data is a real gold mine for companies. In order to prevent abuses and aberrations, their collection and use are however very well regulated. To optimize the protection of your privacy, everyone can also take steps.
Why our personal data is collected ?
Most often, the personal data is collected from commercial purposes. This is because it allows a company to collect details about prospects and thus to identify themto improve its advertising targeting. More specifically, a brand will be able to get closer to potential customers by developing a personalized communication based on the personal information it has acquired.
It will also be able to offer them services or products that perfectly meet their needs or desires.
The collection of personal information can also serve other purposes. For example, during the 2012 American presidential race, the study of voters’ data allowed Barack Obama to collect a sum exceeding one billion dollars. Thanks to this analysis, information on undecided voters could also be collected.
The candidate used it to fine-tune his arguments to convince them to vote for him.
Who protects our personal data ?
In France, the protection of personal data is governed by the French Data Protection Act. The latter was amended by the law of June 20, 2018 on the protection of personal data to adapt to the RGPD (General Data Protection Regulation). This regulation applies to companies, associations and public bodies that handle the private data of individuals located in the European Union.
In France, it is the CNIL (National Commission of the’The data protection authority, which is responsible for ensuring compliance with the RGPD. This authority can carry out surveys among the structures concerned by the European regulation. It also has the power to Implement corrective measures if a breach is committed.
In addition, it provides recommendations on the protection of personal data and deals with requests concerning any violation of the RGPD.
All those who process personal information have various solutions to ensure the privacy of the individuals concerned. The anonymization of data is part of it. Nevertheless, some drifts can be observed.
It is therefore important to know how to protect your personal data.
How to protect your personal data on the Internet ?
There are several best practices that will help you secure your personal data on the Internet. You can start by to change your web browser. In particular, it is recommended to opt for Firefox which allows you to choose among various levels of content blocking.
If you wish to surf the web while preserving anonymity, turn to Tor Browser. Thanks to this browser, which disables by default all the scripts of the sites you access, you can surf using the HTTPS protocol.
Also consider changing your search engine. Google is widely used as it keeps the browsing history of Internet users. However, it is possible to use other search engines that guarantee more privacy, such as Qwant or DuckDuckGo.
On the other hand, the use of a password manager is strongly recommended. In addition to saving your credentials, this tool can create a strong and unique password for all your online accounts. KeePass and Bitwarden are among the most popular solutions.
Also make sure to change your DNS server. Most of the time automatically assigned by the Internet Service Provider, this last one can be used to spy on your navigation. Replacing it will not only allow you to bypass tracking, but also to surf faster.
In particular, you can opt for the DNS offered by Cloudflare.
You may find yourself using a Wi-Fi network with little or no security. Malicious individuals are likely to take advantage of this to get hold of your data’confidential or sensitive information. How to protect your personal data in this type of situation ? An effective method is to use a VPN connection.
Access to the Internet will be done with a other IP address than yours, which will prevent your identification. However, avoid free VPNs, as they won’t allow you to better protect your private data.
On the other hand, if you have accessed a third-party service through a Google account, it is quite possible that your emails are read without your knowledge. In this case, it is advisable to turn to a secure e-mail provider such as ProtonMail.
Finally, use a messaging that uses end-to-end encryption to protect yourself from the risks of spying on your private conversations. Signal and Telegram are among the recommended solutions.
Wondering how to protect your personal data on a smartphone ? You should know that the measures to adopt are practically the same as those listed above.
How to check if your personal data is publicly available on the Internet ?
It is crucial to know how to protect your personal data. Learn how to check if your data has been publicly broadcast on the Internetis just as good.
Currently, the creation of an account is generally required to benefit from online services. As part of this process, you may be asked to provide your name, email address, date of birth, bank details, etc. However, websites are often attacked by hackers, which results in the leakage of personal data on the web.
To determine if your information has been stolen and leaked on the Internet, visit Have I Been Pwned. You will only have to enter the email address you used to create an online account in the field provided for this purpose. One of the following situations will then arise:
- The screen turns to green, servers, which means no data leakage for you;
- The screen becomes red, which means that a site you have accessed has suffered a cyber attack and that you are a victim of data theft. The name of the site and the nature of the information stolen will also be specified.
In the second case, immediately change your password on the website in question. Also take the trouble to replace all the passwords you use on other sites if they are identical. Hackers can indeed test the identifiers they have stolen on different sites that may have collected your personal data.