Can you honestly say you know who has access to your personal data? Just how many people know what your email address is or when your birthday is? And, more importantly, who knows where you live or what your bank card details are?

Whether we’re sharing our email address in return for receiving newsletters or creating an online account so that we can leave a review, our data is everywhere. But there’s a problem. Most people don’t know where their personal data is going or where it’s being stored. It’s all about to change.

Now’s the time to get to grips with safeguarding your personal data once and for all. Here are some of the ways you can go about doing it:

1. Get to know where your data is

If you think back over the years to the amount of times you’ve shared your details, the places where your information is stored is vast. Do a quick audit – are you happy with who may have your details on file and what they’re using them for? If not, then you have rights.

2. Understand your rights

You have a right to know what information companies hold about you and how they’re using it.

Once the GDPR is in place, you should start to see a difference in the way organisations communicate with you about using your data. You’ll have to opt-in rather than opt-out of communications. What’s more, organisations will no longer be able to assume that silence means you’ve given them permission to use your details.

3. Recognise the value of your data

It goes without saying, but your data is valuable, even more so in this day and age where the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks is higher than ever before. Simple steps, such as regularly changing your passwords and installing anti-virus software on all of your devices, not just some of them, can significantly help protect your data.

Open treasure chest on the beach

4. Look after your important data after it’s been sent

Like it or not, the vast majority of transactions are completed online these days. Regardless of how hectic your life might be, get into the practice of keeping tabs on where your most important data’s been sent and whether or not it needs to be reviewed or updated as your details change over the years.

5. Remember – the GDPR is your ally!

While there’s been a lot of discussion about the impact of the GDPR on businesses, don’t forget these new rules aren’t just aimed at organisations, they’re aimed at the public too.

The GDPR is coming and with it comes a whole new world of opportunity for you to take back control over your personal data and protect what matters to you most – once and for all.

Source: Huffington Post

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Read more about the General Data Protection Regulation

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