If you're used to sharing everything you do and what you like on the internet, you should know the value your personal data has in the digital world. Yes, your personal information if it is of interest to other people, when talking about personal data we mean that information about your life that you share on the internet from websites, social networks or applications that end up becoming your fingerprint, since this information once shared is grouped with all that you have published and project your life to the virtual world.
These remnants of information left on the web range from something as basic as your name, age and gender to something as intimate as your location, photos, health status, tastes and bank details to name a few. Both those details of your life that you want to share and those that you never would have wanted to publish are accessed today by hackers, big companies and basically anyone with internet access.
Perhaps you had already heard what your personal data covers online, had some notion that it does have some kind of value, and thought you were safe for being a person who takes care of their information by keeping all their profiles private and protecting your browser, as you would be surprised to know that it takes a lot more than this to be safe.
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What is the value of your personal data and what do they do with it?
In order to understand the value of your personal data, the most convenient is to understand that there are two sides with regard to this, on the one hand are companies that need to know your information considering you as their consumer to offer products and services in their advertising according to your lifestyle and tastes, however, in the On the other hand, we have hackers who intend to sell your information for different purposes such as creating fake passports, stealing your bank accounts and accumulating fraudulent charges in your name.
If we raise it in this way we can consider that for companies the use of your personal data is harmless, however, by setting Google as an example for this company you are the product How does this work? Very simple, to enjoy free services such as google maps or some social network you are being used as a generator of data for these companies and these data are subsequently sold to advertisers to offer you their products and services according to your information.
If you went out to the beach with your family and posted a photo on Facebook facing the sea basking in the sun and then while you're using Instagram you get ads about beach blockers or hotels, it's because your personal data has already been handed over to these advertisers. Not having control over what you want these third parties to know or not about you is as scary as it sounds, much more so considering that it still poses a risk to your security by data breaches or security breaches to your personal data to which you are vulnerable as a consumer, taking into account that cybersecurity usually goes one step behind the hackers.
In their literal translation, data breaches are the breach of security of personal data that refers to the unauthorized acquisition of restricted data. This can happen to any company that handles data, such as the US Bank Capital One, which leaked 100 million data including bank accounts and credit card applications by a hacker earlier this year. This often happens, thousands of companies worldwide are the target for the illicit use of their data every day, this is because hackers are always one step ahead of cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity can be defined as the union of measures that help to avoid exposure to large cyber risks including the theft of personal data, includes a large number of techniques and methods to protect operating systems. Its risks include cybercrime for profit, cyberwars that are often politically motivated, or cyberterrorism to frighten people.
As for the violation of your personal data by hackers, it is much more complex and dangerous, since in this case you do not benefit in any way. Your data is being used by criminals to break the law through you. These people violate all security codes to reach your data, either by filtering them through a company that you are a consumer of or directly from you, which are usually filtered through email, where we usually have from social networks, work, to banking information and usually are taken to the deepweb to be sold.
The importance of terms and conditions
Surely at some point you have come across the terms and conditions of some place and decided to accept them without reading them, because this is a common mistake that many make. This is the only way to know the value your personal data has for the server, be sure of what they will do with them and if what they do or can not harm you, this not to mention that within them in some cases indicate that the data you provide them will be their property.
As you read it, your personal data on the web usually does not belong to you, even though it is about you, and this is because your data belongs to the server of the company that provided you with its free service. On some page within the terms and conditions of use of that server you agreed to give them all rights to your data.
These companies like Google mine your data, which belong to you to combine it with other users' data and from there they create their product, which is the sum of all this data, which is then sold to other companies and generate in exchange incredible free services such as social networks.
Mining of personal data
Now that you know that they don't belong to you, in order to understand more thoroughly the process through which your information passes, you must know data mining, which is the storage of personal data of consumers within a software that finds patterns between them to be analyzed from different perspectives, summarized and make their use an easy and fast process for the company.
How do they get your personal data?
This is the most frightening answer in question of all, because in order to obtain your personal data both big companies and hackers can access by name, your microphone by which they listen to your conversations, your camera by which they observe what you consume and your location by which they know what frequented places.
It sounds irrational, but it is completely real, in some cases, returning to the terms and conditions of web servers and applications, you give them this access through them. When Instagram asks you to access your photos to publish a photo from your gallery, you are not only allowing them to view the photos, you are also providing them with the information that each photo carries including location, time and date of the same, that is why even if you did not give them access to your location, through your photos they can get it.
When talking about some cases, it is because a study conducted by the International Computer Science Institute associated with the University of California at Berkeley confirmed that even when you are denied access to your personal data to a mobile application, this is not always respected. They draw these permissions through alternative or covert channels to get this information from other applications to which you granted this permission.
Key steps to protect your personal data
Now that you are aware of the value of your personal data, it is important to know how to protect them, for this there are several methods, the first step is not to use the same password on different servers and change it periodically, secondly not to allow access to applications unless it is completely necessary and in Third, however annoying it may be, always read the terms and conditions to be aware of what they do with our personal data and to be aware of whether it is legal or not what they do with them.
In this way, it is important to be careful and more aware of what is posted online, everything you share can eventually be used against you, both by companies, hackers or people on your friends list, whether for better or worse, being responsible for what you post is the main step to make a safe use of the web.
It is also necessary that you have an idea of what an SSL security certificate is because this provides security to the data sent or received by the pages containing it, the SSL which by its acronym in English means secure sockets layer of data encryption, is a tool that is displayed on web pages with the icon of a lock of security, which may indicate that your data will be safe on that website.
Finally, now that you know the value of your personal data, if you want to find out if it was filtered, there are online software that allows you to find out it as haveibeenpwned.com, a website that by entering your email you can find out if it was already filtered, at what time, in what way and from which server. This page stores all known data breach and updates your information on a daily basis. This can help you know whether or not to take immediate action on the matter.