Best Practices for Protecting Consumer Data

Contributed by Jillena Locklear

The field of information technology (IT) has grown extensively in the past few decades. This growth can be attributed to the advancement of technology and the impact that new technology has had on consumerism. Technology has developed a new avenue for societal consumers. The World Wide Web (Internet) alone has paved the way for consumers to enjoy the comforts of their home and make purchases online avoiding the hustle and bustle of common crowds at malls and other various retail centers. Other aspects of online technology including e-mail, search engines, applications (apps) and social media, all play a role in collecting information from users. These forms of online activities are popular among consumers and are used daily to retrieve and send vital information. Most of the time, the information that is shared using these various tools is personal and can contain information relating to location of user, banking information, birthday, social security numbers, telephone numbers, etc. There is a saying that is commonly heard among the information technology field that says, “Once it is put on the Internet, it cannot be completely removed.” This highlights the fact that information that is shared to online websites is digitally sealed.

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