Modern consumers have ever-increasing expectations when deciding to trust brands online. Their purchasing decisions entail certain expectations, ranging from top customer experiences and service to providing value and practical solutions that can help people solve real-life problems.
However, internet users unknowingly share their interactions, social media credentials, product, or service preferences, browsing history, shopping habits, and more.
Although the global accessibility of data about internet users is part of the mutual relationship between consumers and companies, most prospects are growing increasingly concerned about how brands use their information.
They want to know whether companies can keep their data secure. Today, we’ll discuss the meaning of data privacy for online consumers.
Data privacy issues
Data privacy is now one of the primary concerns for both companies and consumers. Since digital transactions make up a large part of online business, there are many risks in the equation that make it hard for companies to protect the privacy of their customers.
Poor user data security and protection can cost a company everything, from the bottom line to brand reputation. Organizations that can’t ensure consumer data privacy could lose much more than just a few customers.
Cybersecurity threats lurk in every corner of the internet, and the risks online shoppers face are growing every day. Despite the severity of the privacy risk depending on the type of information, customers now take precautions before trusting online businesses.
Online and mobile consumers view data privacy very differently. Most of them base their understanding of it on the type of online activity they prefer. However, the problem is that every online action is subject to the associated risk – something most internet users don’t understand.
Most aren’t aware of the many risks that information sharing entails. That’s why companies invest in tailoring their communications to their customers’ preferences to ensure data privacy compliance.
Online data security
Online data security is a priority for digital businesses. However, consumers are also making information security their primary concern across various communication channels, such as online dating, shopping, internet banking, social media, search engines, email, etc.
Each channel brings unique data privacy challenges, making consumers more aware of the value of data privacy. They used to worry more about user experience or customer service, but the tables have turned.
Due to the increasing need to download various data types from websites, internet users are more likely to express concern about how online services use their information, including location data, login credentials, personal and financial details, etc.
On the other hand, apps and websites need user data to allow access to their services. Online payments, shopping, and banking are among the most frequent activities for most internet users and require the personal information to work.
Online data movement
Every online service requires user data to provide the expected results. For example, the internet is an abundant source of entertainment options, such as streaming services and online gaming. While both activities require user data to allow access to the required content, users don’t find them as threats to their privacy. However, most of these services include online ads.
Digital advertisers use various techniques to target internet consumers, leading to questionable policies and trust issues. Consumers express concerns about how digital advertisers target them and why they do that.
They don’t understand how their data ended up in the hands of advertisers, leading them to believe that the online services they have previously used may share their data with third parties behind their backs.
How to protect your data online
Here’s what you can do to avoid exposing your personal data to cybercriminals.
More private browsers
Browsers are the window to the internet. Thus, you want to use a private browser that won’t collect each URL and search entry. Furthermore, you need a more reliable search engine as well. That usually means dropping the Google search engine.
However, remember that if a search engine or browser does not collect information about your activities, do not expect personalized ads and search results.
Use strong passwords
Create unique passwords using combinations of symbols, numbers, and upper and lower-case letters. Change your passwords periodically, and don’t use the same pass across multiple websites.
Use a VPN
Most internet users use free Wi-Fi to get online and go about their daily tasks. However, public Wi-Fi networks are swarming with security risks and could expose you to numerous threats.
Secure your connection with a VPN download to protect your online activity and enhance your data privacy. Thus, a VPN will also help you share less since internet activities get encrypted and IP addresses are hidden. So, advertisers and web entities can no longer access your approximate location.
The new age of data privacy will bring more tech and security-savvy internet users who want to know everything about data collection and security practices.
These higher expectations and demands will lead to a new era of brands and innovative data privacy policies that revolve around consumer security and well-being.