What Is Data Protection and Why Is It Important?

Fraud is more rampant now than ever before, primarily online.  Security breaches occur not only to individuals but also to businesses. Billions of dollars per year are lost to fraudsters through systems they have developed to harvest information from unwitting individuals and companies. This can be through website links, text message links, and even ads on social media that, when clicked, will lead to a link that contains either malware or viruses. 

Once an individual or company inputs any data about themselves or their business into these “spoof” sites, the fraud starts immediately almost and can take the form of even phone calls purporting to be a business, a government agency, or a survey team. Computers can be frozen when clicking on spoof links, or bank accounts and credit cards hacked.  

There is even a new type of government fraud which the USA government warns about. 

A fraudster will pretend to be an agent of a government entity or agency, even the FBI, (Federal Bureau of Investigation) the IRS, (Internal Revenue Service), or even the SSA (Social Security Administration), and asks others to verify their information via the phone. The fraudster will pretend to be a deputy or agent themselves, and the best method of not falling for this is to ask for the agent’s or deputy’s ID (Identification Number) and name. All government agencies also do not make phone calls but will send letters of verification although the letters can also be fake letters. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) of the United States addresses these newest types of phony government follow-ups on their website. This usually occurs when an individual does not enter their information via the spoofed link. Fraudsters do not give up easily, and the number of security breaches not only online but via phone has increased exponentially in the past ten years.  

A security breach can be deadly for companies, as it allows the harvesting of clients’ personal information.  

In general, a security breach can bypass the systems set up to prevent a breach and breaches have, therefore become more intricate and more rampant. Clients of a business trust a business to keep their information safe, and companies also store their own sensitive information on their own secure servers. 

When a breach occurs, not only can clients be lost forever, but a company may spend hundreds of thousands of dollars or even more to locate the breach and have it removed. Not only should individuals be aware of the pitfalls of breached data, but all employees who work for any company should be educated on these issues to cut down on data breaches. Data breaches can occur because of an employee’s lack of knowledge, and there is software now to monitor employee’s online access. This is a good idea for any company. The blocking of some types of online access via software is an excellent place to start in monitoring employee’s online behaviour and decreasing the risk of data breaching.  

Monitoring employees’ behaviour and blocking sites is only part of the solution for data breaching. 

Following up on who is working for the company and their chances of committing an intentional data breach is also an excellent methodology to employ in any company. 

Believe it or not, some employees can be involved with fraudsters, and knowing exactly who is working for a company and what their background is can be significant when hiring someone, and even after being hired. Money talks and some employees can be offered a great deal of money to breach data for a fraudulent, criminal entity. While most data breaches are done accidentally by most employees, it may or may not be an accident for some, and no company is immune to breaches. In fact, the United States Department of Defense itself, in 2019 was data breached! 

Awareness by companies of all methods of training and follow-up on employees is crucial. 

Follow up on employees even if some have worked at a company for a while is critical. 

Nuwber is a search site with a massive database of USA clients, and companies can routinely check the names, addresses, and background information of any employee in complete confidentiality. Knowing what an employee does in their spare time, their credit history, the individuals they associate with, and even knowing where they appear online and what they are saying can enlighten many companies and keep the data safer than it was without this knowledge. It can also reveal what sites employees are visiting, and if a spoof site was visited inadvertently, this might show up

Nuwber also has a method of erasing data from sites, and if a data breach did occur, this could also prove to be an excellent feature for many companies.  

Data protection is one of the most valuable assets a company can offer its clients.  

Clients share their data such as credit card information, bank account information, and their addresses, phone numbers, and emails because they trust that a company will protect their private information. A data breach will quickly lose the trust of all clients, and there are instances where large, big box stores and companies went bankrupt and out of business because they did not provide sufficient data protection and suffered significant breaches. Once a client has their personal information breached, they very seldom will trust that company again. Being breached privately by a fraudster is one thing, but for most clients being targeted by a scammer because a company did not sufficiently protect their data, remains in their minds and they tend never to do business again with that company. 

Individual data and company data should always be safe and secure, and consumers can view it as a sacred duty by any company that collects their personal information. This is not self-righteous on the consumers’ parts. Data protection SHOULD be viewed as a sacred duty and all methods to prevent breaches used.

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