Whether you want to buy Bitcoin, start a freelancing business or run an ecommerce website, you’ll need data protection tools. In many countries, you’re obligated to protect your customers’ data. Obviously, you also want to protect your personal information.
But is it worth the cost? What’s the important of investing so many resources on data protection? According to experts, data protection can make the difference between succeeding and failing in your online investments. Here’s how.
Preventing Breaches Targeting Your Finances
Contrary to popular belief, cyberattacks have increased in the past one year. Hackers have also become smarter and now use sophisticated means to breach small online businesses. For example, they disguise themselves as security experts or business partners to coerce you into giving them your financial data.
If trickery doesn’t work, attackers become more aggressive. They use malware, viruses, ransomware and DDoS attacks to overwhelm your business’ servers. The results of a successful cyberattack can be devastating. Think of how much money you lose when your website goes down.
Now think of the extra damage that would happen if attackers were to breach your company’s financial records. You could lose your money, financial records and have your identity stolen. The impact of such a breach could also last for months of years.
Luckily, you can stop many online attacks through standard security measures: SSL encryption, anti-malware programs and VPNs, to name a few. What is a VPN? It’s short for Virtual Private Network and protects you by hiding your identity while surfing the internet. It also encrypts your data.
Strengthen Your Business
If you want to foster a great relationship with your customers, take care of their data. A recent study by Pew Research shows 93% of Americans love brands that protect their data. Most of them also like to have control over the type of data collected and knowledge of how it’s used.
In other words, your online customers would appreciate if you had measures to protect their personal information. Create a data collection policy and explain why you need it. Also, ask for your customers’ consent and give them the option to retract this consent.
Failure to provide clear data collection policies can hurt your online business in numerous ways. For starters, some of your customers might choose your competitors if they have better data protection laws. Others could sue your business.
To Browse Anonymously
Some online investments are best done anonymously. Take cryptocurrency investments as an example. Crypto trading platforms are a constant target of hackers. The same applies to crypto wallets, the applications, programs and hardware devices used to store your authentication keys.
Cryptos aside, another investment best done privately is gambling. For many people, it’s a way to have fun without worrying about losses. But if you play slots, bet on sports or play poker to make money, you could benefit from some privacy.
No one needs to know you’re a gambler. It all has to do with protecting your privacy. People tend to be critical about other people’s personal choices. And they like to pass on financial advice even when it’s not needed. In light of that information, you can use a VPN to hide your identity.
With some investments, like buying and selling stuff in the dark web, anonymity isn’t an option. It’s a dangerous place full of spies, stalkers, hackers and malicious people. Unless you want to have your identity stolen, targeted with malware or spied on, you should anonymize your connections.
Irrespective of the size of your business, you need to comply with data protection laws. Otherwise, you could face a hefty fine or have your business license suspended. In the US, privacy laws vary by state. For example, California has a law called the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that’s similar to the EU’s GDPR policy.
Unlike the GDPR, though, the CCPA data protection law only targets businesses that generate over $25 million in annual revenue. They also must have an intent to collection data from at least 50,000 consumers. The law demands online businesses to reveal how they use their data, provide consent and a way to opt out of data collection.
Nevada has a law almost similar to that in California. It was amended in 2019 to give consumers the right to opt out of a data collection policy. Failure to comply with this law can cost you a fine of up to $5000. New York, Maine and Massachusetts are other states with similar laws.
As mentioned, the EU also features some of the most famous data protection laws in the world. Every online business is required to comply with GDPR, at least if you target residents of the EU. Although the UK is no longer part of the EU, it has since created data privacy laws similar to GDPR.
To Increase Physical Safety
Cases of digital stalkers harming their victims in real life are rampant. Another common issue affects gamers: swatting. Your video game nemesis could make a false accusation to the police, prompting law enforcement officials to come guns blazing in your home.
Swatting is often harmless. But in rare occasions, it has led to the deaths of innocent of people. The same applies to stalking. Some people are unbelievably malicious. And when you’re an investor, they could do anything to steal your money.
Against that backdrop, take time to protect your identity and personal information before you surf the web. Turn on a VPN and install and anti-malware program. Share your personal information only when it’s necessary and avoid suspicious websites.
For Ethical Reasons
Collecting data might be important for your business. But is selling this information crucial? Would your customers approve? One of the best ways to build trust with customers is to respect their wishes. Presently, most people wish online businesses would protect their data.
When you think about it, protecting your customers’ data is also ethical. You shouldn’t use people’s data in a way that could cause harm to them. You also shouldn’t benefit from their sensitive personal information without their consent.