In two of its latest blog posts, Hard Drive Recovery Group discusses data security and electronic identity protection, a subject of particular importance consider the current furor over the FTC’s Equifax Data Breach Settlement. The posts are part of a continuing series of articles stressing data protection and safety with an aim to help data recovery customers safeguard their data to avoid future mishaps.
In the post entitled “Is There A Difference Between Data Security And Data Privacy”, Hard Drive Recovery Group breaks down two concepts that are inextricably linked, and yet somewhat different than each other. As stated in the article, “you can have security without privacy, but you cannot have privacy without security.”
“The realm of data security is one in which larger companies are more likely to be the stakeholders, as they tend to collect reams of data about customers, vendors and other stakeholders,” said Maureen Davies, spokesperson for Hard Drive Recovery Group. “Meanwhile, data privacy laws and regulations are typically created to protect the data of the individual, and hold up companies with bad data security policies to critical scrutiny.”
While it is not typically possible for individuals to have control over their personal data once it has been divulged to a business, data privacy tools do prevent unauthorized corporate actors from profiting from that same data. These tools may include specialized browser extensions, encrypted messaging, proxies and ad blockers. Keeping data safely backed up also helps.
Companies have a much more critical responsibility to keep their customers and prospects data private and tend to use data security tools such as identity and access management, data loss prevention and masking software. Enterprise servers such as Exchange and Oracle tend to offer robust security technologies as well.
Meanwhile, in a second blog post entitled “Is Your Electronic Identity Safe”, Hard Drive Recovery Group looks at some solid techniques to enable individual users to keep their personal data as safe as possible without going to absurd extremes. In today’s social media-heavy environment, it may seem difficult to consider, but one of the key points to securing your electronic identity is shockingly simple: do not be too giving about personal information on the web.
“One of the most difficult things for many people to understand these days is that everything you put on the Internet, including at places like Instagram and Facebook, puts you at risk for some kind of electronic identity theft,” said Davies. “It is important when using any kind of social media to make sure privacy settings are correct for a user’s comfort level. Checking privacy settings monthly will help ensure there are no ugly surprises down the line.”
While it remains a very important idea to shred all documents with personal information on them such as old tax records, W-2s and others, hard drives, thumb drives and mobile devices can provide a new avenue for identity thieves. It is always critical for a privacy concerned citizen to install a digital data shredder such as the freely available Eraser program. Other titles include WipeFile, Freeraser and Secure Eraser, each of which tackle digital data-shredding in a similar way.
“The beauty of digital shredder programs is that they tend to be automatic, and it is often possible to delete data to extremely highly secure levels,” said Davies. “Another bonus is that these shredders tend to be either free or extremely cheap, meaning there really isn’t an economic reason to not install them automatically.”
As a data recovery service provider responsible for recovering thousands of terabytes of data per month from both companies and individuals, Hard Drive Recovery Group has always had a robust security policy when it comes to data. But even individuals can safeguard data easily – as long as social media is kept at arm’s length.