What’s the Difference Between Data Privacy and Data Security?

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    Nowadays, it seems as though we cannot escape the term ‘data’. It’s everywhere. From our phone contracts to the ‘big data’ that social media platforms use every single second of every single day. Data is worth more than any other commodity on the planet, and it looks like it’s going to stay that way for quite some time.

    Bringing this whole data concept back down to a personal level, you’ll have heard of how important it is to keep your personal data safe and sound, and of course, the big data that everyone is talking about. After all, if someone got hold of your phone unlock-code or your PIN, I doubt you’d feel very safe.

    This is a topic explored by the industry of data security or data privacy? Which is it? The chances are you’ve heard of both terms interchangeably at certain times, but the two terms of data protection are very different in their own rights.

    With this in mind, today, we’re going to explore the differences between data privacy and data security, helping you stay grounded and informed in this somewhat confusing world.

    Why Is This Important?

    Before we really jump into this, you may be wondering why this matters. Wouldn’t it be easier to make sure that all data is safe? End of.

    Well, while that’s somewhat true, that would be putting the usage of data into two boxes and calling them black and white. Instead, the reality is never that simple and always operates in the grey zone in the middle.

    Let’s look at this in a nutshell perspective.

    You wouldn’t want anybody to have access to your bank account numbers or phone code. This would give anyone the ability to get into your phone and ultimately access everything that’s on it. Now, how someone could get access to your phone unlock code depends on the approach.

    Your phone’s code has been set up as a security measure to prevent people from getting in, whereas data privacy is making sure that your code is safe and doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. If you’re living with your partner or have children, you may want to give them the code to get into your device, and that’s okay when everything is still secure.

    Using this example, you can easily see the difference between data security and data privacy. Security is a measure set up to help protect your sensitive information and data from anyone getting access to it without your permission, such as your phone code or PIN number, or a password locking your social media account.

    On the other hand, data privacy talks about stopping certain people from getting access to a source of data but allowing others. Let’s look into these in a bit more detail.

    The Ins and Outs of Data Security and Privacy

    Data security is all about securing your sensitive data, and within your business, you’re going to be able to do this in a number of ways. You’ll set up protective measures, such as firewalls and passworded accounts via a user authorisation network. You may limit network and internet access, and you’ll set up many kinds of encryption to stop breaches and leaks from taking place.

    While all this may offer you a lot of protection, data privacy means you’re looking into protecting the data that’s being secured from being misused.

    For example, if you’re an online business and you store your customer’s financial and personal information, so they can quickly make purchases again, data privacy is all about making sure that the data you’re holding onto doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Imagine all those customer’s financial data going out onto the internet to be misused.

    That could, and has, caused a lot of problems.

    Take the UK-based Wonga Loans company. Back in 2017, Wonga Loans experienced a massive breach that compromised the bank account information of 250,000 customers in a massive data privacy scandal. This was the tip of the iceberg for Wonga, who ended up losing £80.2 million in pre-tax losses as a subsequent result.

    Every single business needs to be aware of the impact of data security and data privacy.

    Another great example would be a therapist’s business. A therapist or counsellor will record a large amount of personal and emotional information on a patient, and it’s vital that no one else has access to such sensitive information. This is protecting the patient’s privacy.

    However, the password on the computer, the lock on the office door, and the encryption on the office network are all data security measures.

    One Doesn’t Mean the Other is Ensured

    This is a very important point to consider. Just because you are focused on making sure data security measures are in place within your business, that doesn’t mean that you’re considering what data privacy measures you need to be working on. This can cause problems.

    “Since data has taken the world by storm, data privacy has never been more important. It’s now a legally binding and regulated industry that you need to be paying attention too. For example, the GDPR is now over a year out, and regulations are coming out all the time all over the world that state that businesses and organizations that handle people’s sensitive data need to be protecting it,” shares Ben Harper, a marketer at 1day2write and Writemyx.

    Think of this way.

    Statistics show that 60% of hacked businesses that are small to medium go out of business within six months of the hack taking place. This is how serious hacking and data breaches are. You ruin the trust and loyalty of your customers, and people will find it very hard to come back.

    So, not only is protecting your data and privacy essential in the eyes of the law, failing to provide adequate defences and protection could mean your business ceases to exist, or will dramatically affect you with long-lasting effects.

    Privacy and Security Affecting Your Business

    While it’s common knowledge that your business should have some kind of security to protect itself and your customer’s data and experience, you should now be starting to see how these two are coming together.

    In many countries, especially the US and Europe, you need to make sure you’re following the data privacy regulations in all the places you operate. You’ll notice that since Europe enacted the GDPR, everyone has had to change how they do things. Even giant websites like YouTube had to change their practice specifically for European users, whereas things hadn’t changed at the time anywhere else in the world.

    However, how you protect your customer’s private information is up to you and your business. Do you want to use passwords and encryption? How do you want to set everything up? What kind of security measures do you want to be put into place?

    In reality, you don’t actually need to do anything. You may go through 30 years of business and not once worry about your business’s security, and you may never have a problem, and that’s fine. You’re incredibly lucky if you get that far, especially if you’re operating mainly online, but you won’t have done anything wrong.

    However, as soon as a data breach takes place and someone’s information is on the line, then you’re in trouble. Suppose something like this happens, or you become under investigation by a governing investigatory body, such as the GDPR. In that case, you may be fined for not taking the proper protective measures to look after your customer’s data.

    If you have offered any form of protection, then this is almost guaranteed.

    “When it comes to data protection, the prevention of a problem is always better than trying to cure it. Would you rather pay millions in fines, fees, and compensation for having not looked after your customer’s and business data properly or prevent it all from happening in the first place?”

    Joseph Ferrinho, a business writer at Britstudent and NextCoursework.

    How to Be a Responsible Enterprise

    When you take all of the information I’ve said with you above and put it all together, it’s easy to see data security and privacy and different sides of the same coin. Sure, the two terms are interchangeable every now and then, but you need to make sure you’re aware of the differences so you can act properly, and ensure you’re doing your bit to keep data safe and secure.

    If you’re not aware of how you can be better, make sure you’re doing your research and you’re prioritizing your approaches to data protection. There is more awareness in this area of the world than ever before, and people will be looking at your business to see what you are doing to keep them safe.

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    About the author

    Michael Dehoyos is a business security writing and editor at PhD Kingdom and Dissertation Writing Services. He helps make sure businesses are compliant with their governing bodies and educating in the fast-moving world of data. Also, he is a writer at Research Paper Help