4 Major Digital Privacy Issues for Small Businesses, Firms, and Freelancers

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What are privacy issues for small businesses? No longer a unique worry for large corporations, digital privacy is now a sculpting economic force that everyone must consider. Analysts estimate that 40 billion devices will connect to the cloud by 2025, which means the number of cloud-based attacks will also skyrocket, as will the cost of data breach fines.

Governments are also getting in on the action by passing online privacy legislation and establishing walled data centers that could mangle the Internet and seismically impact the world economy.

So what do you, a small business owner or freelancer, need to know about the current state of the online privacy landscape? Let’s explore a few points.

Privacy Issues for Small Businesses: Government Regulations Are Likely On The Way

The General Data Protection Rule changed the online privacy game in 2018. Under the law, users must have access to their digital data and be able to delete it. Even though it’s an EU statute, GDPR applies to all websites, apps, and digital services that allow European access. In other words, if you run a data-collecting website from Arizona, but let people in France, Spain, or any other EU country to use it, then you’re likely beholden to the GDPR.

On January 1, 2020, California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) also hit. Similar to the GDPR, the CCPA gives users control over their data, including access to personal information and the right to delete it. Under the CCPA, users can also opt-out of third-party data sales.

U.S. legislators feel pressure to enact a federal online privacy law to replace the emerging patchwork of state and international digital privacy statutes that may ultimately hinder cross-border business.

Privacy Issues for Small Businesses: We Stink At Spotting Scams

Social Engineering Is at the Root of Many Online Scams

Ninety-nine percent of digital attacks involve social engineering. To work, a person must click on an infested URL, open a suspect file, or fall for a phone scam. Everyone thinks they can spot a con, but scams are more sophisticated and convincing than ever. Bad actors routinely mask messages in a cloak of reliability. And an email that appears to be from mom may be the work of an international scammer.

Updates Are Essential to Shutting Down Scams and Breaches

Updates are also vital. Researchers have linked about 60 percent of 2019 data breaches to unpatched vulnerabilities. So when an update alert elbows its way to the front of your screen, don’t ignore it. Click yes.

Zero-trust networks and architecture, which add a digital protection layer, are gaining popularity. But they can’t remedy human error. To avoid employee mistakes that lead to digital breaches, establish a routine system update, and make sure it’s executed frequently. The last thing your business needs is an avoidable data breach.

Privacy Issues for Small Businesses: Deep Fakes May Lead To Global Chaos

Deep faking — the imperceptible altering of videos, images, and other digital content — is here to stay. At face value, it may sound harmless, but deep fakes have crushing potential. Theoretically, a convincing one could crash the stock market and sink the economy.

Experts estimate that deep fake scams and privacy schemes will cost companies over $220 million in 2020.

Do you know how to spot them?

Privacy Issues for Small Businesses: A Fractured Internet Could Transform the Market

China already blocks and censors the Internet, and Russia is gearing up to do the same. Germany demands that all metadata is locally stored, and India is building local data centers to protect payment information.

What does all this digital containment mean, practically speaking? It will balkanize the Internet and lead to more regulations — regulations that could throttle the small business market.

Are you best positioned to withstand a regulatory onslaught?

Connect With Tech Business Consultant

Reviewing business procedures and profit plans with a tech business consultant can be a huge help. Aaron Kelly works with startups, established companies, and freelancers doing just that. With his legal background, Aaron brings a 360-degree view and crafts profitable positions while making sure his clients remain on the right side of the law.

Get in touch today. Let’s talk.