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Protecting Your Privacy in the Age of Big Data

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Big data refers to the large volume of structured and unstructured data that is available to businesses. This data is collected from varied sources – such as e-commerce transactions and social media – and formats, from numeric data in databases to email, photographs, audio recordings, and more. Since the advent of the digital age, more data than ever is available to us. According to Domo, 90% of the data available today was collected in 2015 and beyond.

Many believe that by analyzing and making use of the myriad data available to us, companies will be able to more accurately and quickly spot patterns, predict what will happen in the future, and, as a result, make more informed decisions. Because this data is vast, complex, and mined from such various sources, big data often cannot be analyzed by traditional methods.

Big data projects are frequently conducted and studied via artificial intelligence and machine learning. Some examples of how e-commerce companies implement big data strategies include predicting trends, forecasting demand, and optimizing customer service. Big data is useful to consumers in many ways. It can connect you with news stories that fit your interests and products you’ll genuinely want to buy. However, the widespread collection of your data also poses privacy concerns, which is why many now seek solutions to protect their personal data.

How Big Data Uses Your Buying Pattern

A buying pattern measures purchase behaviour and buyer trends, such as frequency, timing, how consumers make purchases, and what they are purchasing. When implementing a marketing campaign, some critical factors for e-commerce businesses look at are its customers’ main demographic, what these customers are buying, and how this has changed over time. By looking at this data regularly, marketers will be able to pinpoint patterns, track them, and make sound decisions based on these patterns.

The most effective way of tracking buying patterns is to break down a customer base into segments and even into individuals. By doing this, marketers more accurately and effectively make relevant decisions based on their customers’ preferences and influence their decision-making while shopping online. This practice is extremely helpful when big data gets it right. However, when companies get big data wrong, it can range from annoying to creepy to downright dangerous.

Now that many corporate teams have transitioned to a remote work-from-home environment, data protection is even more crucial to both people and the companies they work for. When you share a device for both work and personal tasks, two worlds collide. Your buying pattern becomes skewed, and your identity becomes even more recognizable.

Your Data vs. The World

Informatics is the study of how information is structured, processed, and engineered in both natural and computational systems. Business informatics is the application of information technology to information engineering, and management and business processes. Today, most areas of the economy’s processes and operational tasks are impacted by computer science considerations and business administration considerations. This trend will continue to rise, and so will the need to keep as much of your personal information as protected as possible.

The more the field of informatics grows, the more adept companies will become at collecting your information. Many of them want to improve your experience or sell services, which is perfectly acceptable. The problem enters when your data becomes prized information for hackers who want to steal it and use it against you.

A “no-log” VPN indicates it does not collect or “log” any data transferred through its network. Advertisers and governmental agencies cannot access your online data—not even your VPN provider. Some VPNs collect a small amount of information, such as your email address, but if you truly want to keep your patterns away from big data, you need to find a no-log VPN.

There are free VPNs available, but many of the free options collect your data and sell it, which is why they are free. If you value your privacy, then downloading a free VPN is something you should avoid as they typically sell your browsing data to advertisers as a way to monetize their service, putting your anonymity at risk. A subscription-based “no logs” VPN is a wiser choice, especially if you value a private connection while travelling.

To Big Data, You are an Infographic

Visualization extracts patterns from large data sets and graphically presents them so that the information can be processed smoothly and efficiently. By visualizing data, it can be easier to effectively gain insight so that showing it all on a spreadsheet or a complicated statistical graph might not. The key aim is to demonstrate complex data more simply.

Various visualization tools on the market can translate data into visual – and sometimes interactive – mediums, such as videos, infographics, pivot tables, charts, line graphs, and even virtual reality and augmented reality presentations. There are endless possibilities when it comes to the visualization of data. By presenting data in a visual context, people can better understand patterns, trends, improvements, and the bigger picture of how a business is doing and what could be done better.

Protecting Yourself from Big Data Analytics

Predictive analytics is the act of leveraging the high volumes of data available to businesses today to predict future trends. There are many ways to use predictive analytics, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, data mining, and protective modelling. By analyzing historical data, predictive analytics is used to anticipate what might happen in the future.

How do you feel about hundreds of companies spending millions of dollars trying to predict your behaviour?

Because of the expanding implementation of Big Data, predictive analytics is becoming more widely used as time goes on. There are a plethora of uses. For marketers, it can help determine customer behaviour and grow its customer base and attract new customers. To criminals, it can help undermine your financial security, or even worse, threaten to expose private information for a ransom.

Connecting through a VPN is one of the best ways to keep your data away from big data collectors. You must also maintain routine spyware and virus checks and be careful about the files you share and store online, but a VPN is one of the most critical pieces of the security puzzle.

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