Whether one likes it or not, accessing the Internet involves a certain amount of any online user’s personal information. With every search engine inquiry, website visit, or click of the mouse, you leave a portion of your personal information online.
How Am I Leaving Personal Information Behind?
For a novice or casual Internet user, this question may be in your mind right now. In reality, this indeed happens. Cookies are there to store data about user preferences. Inputting information in online forms leave the data you input behind. The use of scripts on websites also impacts this process. One way or another, a user is leaving an imprint on the Web.
The Pulse of Online Users
Most online users are wary about accessing non-secure websites. This is because cybercrime is a very big issue. It is rampant nowadays.
In 2018, about 23% of Americans have been victims of cybercrime. They or someone they know have suffered from this crime. This is according to the annual crime survey that Gallup conducts.
In the same way, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and The Harris Poll found out that about 60% of Americans are exposed to fraudulent schemes.
With these statistics, it is not surprising to know that they want a deeper sense of security when accessing a company’s website. You surely do not want to have someone steal your credit card information for their personal gains. There are already many victims who have lost their personal information. They are the ones who suffer from a cybercrime attack.
The 2016 data breach incident that involves Uber is one example. In this incident, hackers stole the information of more than 57 million Uber drivers and riders.
According to Internet Live Stats, 26.6 million websites have already been hacked as of July 2019. This goes to show how massive cybercrime is. Imagine how much data has been compromised. In addition, imagine the costs of rectifying this data breach.
According to Varonis, about 41% of companies do not have the protection of over 1000 of their sensitive files. These files include health records and credit card numbers. But, in a 2018 study by Juniper Research, small businesses only allocate less than $500 for cybersecurity products every year. In other words, many companies are not fully investing in cybersecurity to thwart cyber threats and crimes. This is even though they know that a lot of their company data and customer files are not protected.
Companies have to work harder on their cybersecurity procedures. This way, they can also protect their consumers’ online data.
A website must not only be attractive. It must be functional and secure. With cyber threats present and ready to do damage on your website, your website must have ample protection from these threats.
A purist website designer may have problems with achieving this. Yes, website designers have the obligation to protect the data the websites collect from users. But, there can be conflicts between ensuring a personalized user experience and creating a security-focused website.
Integrating cybersecurity in web design requires close collaboration between the web design team and the web development team. Both teams have to work together. In this manner, they can achieve a website that is personalized yet secure. The resulting website must be able to provide a personalized user experience while also protecting the website visitors’ data.
The foundation of the website must include data security. Its framework must already incorporate security systems that help uphold data privacy. The systems must have the ability to anticipate threats to it and remove such threats before they can do damage.
There are many principles that you have to consider within the entire integration process. These include the following:
Instead of thinking about ways on how to fix data breaches, the focus should be on preventive measures. There should be ways to prevent data breaches. In the same way, the website must already incorporate privacy and security even at the initial stages of website design and development. When you put these practices in place early, you can ensure the security of your users’ personal information when they visit your website. You can also avoid possible security threats down the line.
After collecting data, the website must be a secure place for such data. You should make sure to protect all the data you collected from all your users. Security should not only be on the point of data collection. It must also be present during the necessary deletion of such data.
Everything must be transparent. The users and the providers should know about the standards of data privacy in place within the website. Both should also know how the website works to provide data security. One way of being transparent is to put clear user notices on the website.
Privacy and User Awareness
When visiting your website, your users must know why you are requesting their information. They must also know how you will be using such information. The users must be aware of how your data collection can improve their experience when visiting your website.
You must make sure that you will only collect the necessary data. There should be no using, storing, and disclosing data without the user’s prior consent. Be proactive in securing your visitors’ data. They must not be the one to make the conscious effort to protect their own privacy. This should already be a given when visiting your website.
The focus of your website’s systems must be the user. Your website must be secure and easily navigable. It should be user-friendly. Most importantly, users should have the capability to provide their information to and remove them from your website easily, whenever they desire to do so.
You should keep the above principles in mind when creating your website. Furthermore, you need to apply them. Some of the things you can do to put these principles at work include:
Minimizing the data your website needs to collect from your users
Providing a concise explanation of why you need to collect specific information from users
Providing clear privacy notices and data sharing notices
With the cybersecurity threats present online every day, both users and companies need to do something. Integrating cybersecurity with web design beforehand will help in this situation. The implementation of these principles will lead to a secure website and a better overall experience for users.
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