Safeguard Your Data Like A Boss

Thursday, 10 May 2018  |  Admin

We have had to do a lot of reading the last few weeks. You may have heard of the GDPR? We certainly have. The GDPR is a very lengthy document designed to give EU consumers more rights to safeguard thier personal data. This new regulation has been designed to replace the current Data Protection Act 1998 and is due to be implemented on 25th May 2018. GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. Currently it is still a living document and subject to change.

We noticed that while there are a lot of general interpretaions of the GDPR worded to assist online marketers, but there is not that much advice present for online consumers. We are not a legal entity but thought it imporatant to highlight some of the new and modified rights online consumers in the EU will have regarding their personal data and the control they have over how it is used.

We all know someone who has had their identity compromised in some way. No-one wants to be that someone. The internet is full of bright colours, tempting deals and dazzling photography, we are encouraged to share, comment and subscribe, to leave a review for a better deal or to send a photo to win a competition. These things are always so quick and easy to do to fit in with our busy lifestyles. Do you know how much personal information you are being asked to share and how valuable that is to you? That data is much more valuable to you than a £2.00 discount on a product and could seriously negatively affect your life if it falls into the wrong hands.

A good starting point when visiting any website is to view their privacy notice or privacy policy first and to check it for changes on any returning visits. Most websites will store some kind of information about your visit which might include personal data in the form of a cookie as soon as you land on their page. If the website you are visiting takes your privacy seriously the privacy notice should be easily accessible and should, in compliance with the GDPR as it currently stands, tell you the following:

  • What personal data is being collected from you, what it is used for and how long it is held for.
  • How and where this data is processed and by whom and how to contact them.
  • Who this information is shared with and if any backups are kept.
  • Inform you that if your personal data needs to be shared that you will be asked for consent before any data is shared.
  • That third parties will be checked for GDPR compliance before any data is shared with them with your consent.
  • How to attain a copy of your personal data.
  • How to exercise the right to be forgotten (how to remove all personal data they have stored about you).
  • A plan of action should a data breach occur.

Some other things to look for:

Under the GDPR consumers are no longer allowed to be automatically opted-in to any marketing scheme or correspondance without their consent. Is the newsletter box pre-ticked? It shouldn't be.

Is there a green padlock icon in the address bar? Is the website secure? It is not a requirement, yet, but your data is safer when the whole website you are browsing is secure.

If the website contacted you concerning your account or purchases did they take measures to verify your identity before discussing with you?

If you are asked to give your consent to share data always take the time to read exactly what you are giving consent to. Some websites allow you to log in with social media, when you combine the data you share on social media with the data you share on another website, will those two sets of data combine to give too much of your personal information away all together should a breach occur? Do you know how much data you are sharing with them combined?

Some websites will ask you to leave a public review. Are you comfortable sharing your purchase information and buying habits with people who might also be able to trace your date of birth and mother's maiden name and see where your children go to school thanks to that awesome cover photo on your social media profile?

Hopefully you are already well aware of the importance of personal data security and rolling your eyes at this blog post. Hopefully.

Your data belongs to you, and how you share it and safeguard it is now more in your control than ever. No-one is immune from having their data compromised, but compromise is less likely to happen if your browsing habits switch from sales frenzy to savvy safeguarding.

Thanks for taking the tine to read this. Hope it is of some help.