The Significance of Internet Security & Privacy in 2019

If you use the internet in any capacity, some form of your data is being tracked and susceptible to compromise. Even if you never create a social profile, do online banking or share any other personal info, unique user data related to your device and behavior can still be captured from the moment you open an internet browser, turn on and interact with your mobile device or, in some cases, speak within an earshot of a smart speaker.  

In many ways this vulnerability is voluntarily accepted by users for the sake of convenience. But with each new revelation, further questions arise regarding just how clear the communication is upfront and how much users understand what they’re getting into and giving up in the process.

As marketers, this means that some of the ways with which we have collected data may continue to face heightened scrutiny. Luxuries that have been taken for granted, such as screen recording analytics, will not necessarily be restricted from use, but the regulations for how we deploy and leverage this technology will continue to evolve and/or tighten.

As we look ahead to 2019 and beyond, here are some of the ways that businesses can continue to stay compliant and also be proactive in protecting user data when it comes to security and privacy in 2019.

HTTPS is the New Standard

It’s 2019. If you’re reading this article and your brand’s web presence isn’t fully delivered over secure-HTTPS, then you should be shifting as much of your team’s focus as possible to make it a priority in the first half of the year.

While having a secure HTTPS site will not award much more than a nominal ranking advantage in organic search results according to Google, they have reinforced their vision of an encrypted web with the rollout of “not-secure” warnings in Chrome browser back in July.

As users reevaluate their willingness to share data, welcoming them to your website with anything less than the assurance of a green lock icon is unacceptable.

Lead with Data Privacy Instead of Reacting to Regulation

Fallout from the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) last May resulted in many businesses needing to disclose the use of and request user permission for the use of cookie data. While this ruling doesn’t immediately impact all US-based businesses, certain elements of the ruling do mean that businesses with an international presence may have had to take action.

Furthermore, Apple has recently taken steps* to request that all developers using screen recording analytics technology either remove said code or disclose of it to users. Those that fail to do so, risk having their apps removed from the App Store.

Apple’s recent streak of publicized privacy moves, even in the wake of their own Facetime bug, further assist in reinforcing their commitment to user privacy at a time when companies such as Facebook and Google are still coming under fire. Proactive and non-mandated actions such as these benefit Apple in the eyes of the consumer.

In Closing, Just Be Clear in Your Motives

Polls and trends suggest that users are comfortable with allowing some form of their data to be used to enhance their experience, and that they like to make decisions on a case by case basis. Leading with their best interest in mind and being clear about what you’re asking for and why will help to reinforce trust in your brand and its data collection methods.

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