Data Privacy: How to Avoid Mistakes You Are Probably Making?

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We often believe that companies should take control of protecting our privacy when we share personal information about ourselves with them. Yet, one of the things we fail to pause and make ourselves realize is that we are not under any obligation to share sensitive information with others when there is no need to.

The use of the internet and social media has popularized the sharing of personal data loosely. This negligence consequently leads to data breaches and numerous cybersecurity issues. To save you from these problems, we will first outline some common data privacy mistakes you make as a user. We will then show you how to avoid them. Let’s dive in.

Common Privacy Mistakes You Make As a User

Companies make privacy mistakes, no doubt, but you make them too as a user. So here, we will examine some data privacy loose ends you should start tying.

1.      Leaving Your Privacy Settings Untouched

At times, you might leave your contact details public so that people can reach out to you. This decision might appear decent, but it is not the best. Social media apps, for instance, have privacy settings, but the failure to open and personalize them is a huge mistake. Research even showed that only 44% of Americans use the privacy options on their apps and online accounts to their advantage.

How to avoid this mistake: Open your apps, browsers, and online accounts, and adjust the privacy settings to your benefit. Set your location, email address, phone number, and birthday as private on social media. Not everyone should know this information as they can use them for identity theft. Also, limit the number of those who can view your posts or tag you in a post or location.

2.      Having the ‘I Have Nothing to Hide’ Mindset

You might have nothing to hide, but with the rate at which cybercriminals scout for sensitive data, you have a lot to lose. The ‘I have nothing to hide’ mindset is what experts call privacy exposure. As a user, if you share way too much personal information online because you have nothing to hide, then you are exposing your privacy. Steer clear to sharing sensitive information carelessly and without limit, as it is unsafe.

How to avoid this mistake: Begin to see each piece of your PII (Personally Identifiable Information – name, address, social security number, bank name, etc.) as an asset. Refrain from sharing them. Just one piece of your PII can lead to financial loss, reputation damage, etc. So, share just a bit of information about yourself. Sharing your political interest, dislikes, favorite pet, favorite dish, pet peeves, and others is unnecessary.

3.      Skipping Policy Documents

Companies often share their terms of service when signing up for a service, purchasing a product, setting up a membership plan, using a website, or registering on an app. These terms could be privacy policies, cookie policies, or agreement terms.

Skipping to continue signing up and failing to read these terms is gross. Not being patient enough to understand how the company or business will use your personal information is wrong. Periodically, check for improvements – additions and subtraction – from these legal documents.

How to avoid this mistake: Never sign up in a hurry. Always take a few minutes to read the terms and conditions of how a company will use your data before you enter an agreement with them. Read that TikTok Privacy information, Mailchimp’s privacy policy, your favorite website’s cookie policy, etc.

Likewise, always ensure to read these terms repeatedly to be aware of any changes. If there is a change you aren’t satisfied with, kindly opt-out or ask that your data be deleted from these companies’ databases.

4.      Tagging Your Location

Tagging one’s location in online pictures often feels like fun. It immerses you more into the lovely moments you are currently enjoying. Besides, it gives your friends, family, and followers a sneak peek into where you’re currently having fun. Regardless of this, it is risky.

Sharing real-time geotagged photos gives malicious people and cybercriminals an idea of your location. As a result, they can easily make plans to attack you or the home, office, or studio you left behind.

Posting geotagged pictures of what you do, what you eat, the meeting you held, etc., can attract cyber-stalkers and companies to track everything you do.

How to avoid this mistake: If you cannot stop sharing your location, try to minimize it. For example, allow only trusted people as friends. These trusted people will never share these posts for cybercriminals to view.


Research has shown that 70% of Americans use social media, but not all use it well. One of the ways of using social media and other digital platforms wrongly includes exposing your privacy. This act is risky, and you must shun it.

In our years of operating, we have dedicated our expertise to helping users understand how companies use cookies, trackers, and other forms of technologies to collect their data. We can use this expertise and knowledge to help you as a business owner avoid data privacy mistakes.


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