Personal data. It's something you don't want getting into the wrong hands, yet you enter it into online forms on a regular basis. You transmit that information with the click of a mouse button and probably don't think twice afterward. The thing is, you've sent your personal data on a journey from Point A to Point B, and anything can happen to it once it arrives.
The good news is, there are laws that govern what can be done to your data when it's received. The bad news is, you might not know about this because of the vague laws that govern compliance. Following are some of the things that happen to your data and what you can do about it.
HTTP versus HTTPS
HTTP is shorthand for HyperText Transportation Protocol. It's the manner in which everyone gets from one webpage to the next. When a website has S after the HTTP, you know it's a secure page. The difference between HTTP and HTTPS is security. If you transmit personal data over a website that has HTTP, you're putting that data in jeopardy of being intercepted by a third party and used for nefarious purposes. Always check for the S before you submit your personal data on any website. If the S isn't there, close the window and go elsewhere.
The Protections of the GDPR
The EU General Data Protection Regulation equalizes data privacy laws across Europe and gives EU citizens more control over their data. While the UK is opting out of the EU via Brexit, the cross-border nature of the UK and the EU is still very much in existence. Companies with EU customers and vice versa still have to comply with the GDPR. That gives EU customers the right to find out what a UK company is doing with their data along with the benefit of privacy rules written in plain language. The GDPR is the strictest piece of legislation yet, and it benefits consumers greatly.
Never assume a company has your best interests in mind when it comes to your personal data. Companies are more interested in profit and will do what they can to make more money. Empower yourself by learning what happens to your information, and make a conscious decision to work with companies who won't sell it online.