Our data is constantly up for grabs. While we strive to be security- and privacy-minded consumers and users, the way we shop, the things we view online, sometimes even where we travel is a data point that is a little piece of who we are. Each piece of this kind of information paints a picture of us; our habits, our needs, and how we spend our money. The question is: how comfortable are we with companies collecting our data?
Often on SecureData blogs, we talk about the impact of hackers stealing our personal data, like addresses, phone numbers, and social security numbers from us directly and provide tips on how to keep your data safe and control your privacy settings. But sometimes, hackers steal a different kind of data called “metadata.” Your digital metadata is commonly stored on a company’s database and includes your browsing history, when you check your social media, and even when you flip through shows on your smart TV.
While it may be desirable to have more options presented to you immediately, it is also an example of a collection of metadata about your preferences and activity — stored somewhere in a company’s database. With smart TVs, this metadata holds information about what you like and generates options for similar content. Additionally, it keeps track of when you watch TV, highlighting the times of day that you’re home. Smart TVs are an example of how technology makes entertainment more enjoyable and cater to what you like, but as consumers and as a nation, we are struggling to keep up with the changing times of data privacy and what we can do to keep ourselves safe.
The Results Are In
In a survey conducted by ExpressVPN of 1,200 adults in the US, Americans are generally skeptical about companies and how they are protecting our privacy when we use their services. The more we see news stories in regards to tech companies and how they collect and store our data, the more concerned we have become over our assumed rights to privacy online.
A SURVEY OF US ADULTS SHOWS THAT THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS ARE CONCERNED WITH DATA PRIVACY.
The results of this survey indicate an overall concern about data privacy in this country and an unawareness of the fact that there isn’t a national law in place that forces companies to protect our privacy. And while 54% of Americans are unfamiliar with current US data privacy laws, the fact that 84% would elect to have companies remove their personal information and stop collecting their data if such a law existed demonstrates a huge mistrust in how companies handle our data. It also shows how the concerns over data privacy continues to grow in the US.
What can you do?
While lawmakers in the US attempt to improve and implement new laws and regulations that aim to protect user data and privacy, most of the responsibility falls on us to be more aware of the privacy settings and policies on the services we use. Vice President of Express VPN Harold Li says “We all need to be taking proactive steps to protect ourselves and manage how much data we’re giving to businesses [and tech companies] in the first place.” The big takeaway from the survey indicates a shift in feelings towards companies privacy stances and proves that more Americans are uncomfortable with the collection and use of their personal data.
Understand the simple fact that for each device or service that you use, you are opening yourself up to potential privacy risks. If the results from this survey show anything, it is the fact that Americans are concerned about privacy now more than ever. We need to take more action to protect ourselves and not rely on companies alone to protect our data and privacy.
SecureData offers security solutions for all of your privacy needs. When we handle customer data through our recovery or forensics services, we provide the highest level of safety and confidentiality for your data. Our company has succeeded in providing data recovery and protection services when other companies fall short. As the most trusted and award-winning data security company in the industry, your privacy is our priority. Call 1-800-388-1266 to learn more about our data protection services and products.