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Best Practices for Prioritizing Data Privacy in 2024

  • Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.
  • July 8, 2024

As technology continues to evolve, data collection and privacy have become major concerns for many consumers. With data breaches becoming increasingly common, individuals are growing worried about the security of their personal information. Recognizing this, there is a rising call for data collectors and companies to modify or even cease certain data collection practices. However, as artificial intelligence becomes more integrated into our daily lives, our awareness of these privacy issues increases and provides us with greater control over our personal information. Here are several steps to improve your data’s security:

Ensure your web browsers have built-in cookie blockers, ad-blocking software, and make use of incognito browsers:

These privacy tools can prevent companies from tracking your online activity. For instance, disabling personalized ads can limit the extent to which ads are tailored to you, although companies can still collect some information. Cookies are small text files that the websites you visit save to identify you and match your preferences for advertisements. There are two types of cookies:

  • Authentication cookies: Save a user's information when they log into a website, including their username, password, and when they are actively logged in. These cookies allow you to access a website you have already visited without having to login again. 
  • Tracking cookies: Third-party cookies that record your time spent on web page and save information about your browsing session. Third-party cookies are used to tailor advertisements based on your searches and activity, and are more vulnerable to hacking and data breaches. 

Regularly update software:

Ensure that your operating systems, apps, and antivirus software are up to date. Updates often identify and patch security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers or malware, and can also fix any bugs and maximize the lifespan of your devices. 

Enable two-factor authentication:

Whenever possible, enable two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to your accounts by verifying your identity a second time. This enhances safety by requiring more than your username and password to login to a website, and may be in the form of a single-use passcode or an email asking for approval to access. 

Use encrypted connections:

Encrypted connections are crucial for securing online communications and protecting sensitive data from unauthorized access. HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is safer than HTTP because it uses encryption to secure the data transmitted between your browser and the website you are visiting. This encryption prevents hackers from intercepting and reading the information, ensuring that personal and financial details remain private and secure.

Be wary of phishing scams:

Phishing scams can come in the form of unsolicited emails, messages, or phone calls that encourage you to reveal personal information. Scammers often manipulate victims by posing as family members or friends. Always verify a sender’s identity before clicking on links, speaking on the phone, or providing any sensitive information.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN):

A VPN can help protect your data by encrypting and securing your internet connection, especially when using public Wi-Fi networks. This makes it difficult for hackers, advertisers, and even your internet service provider to track your online activity.

Consumers now have greater control over their personal information and access to privacy tools, allowing them to take steps to minimize data collected. In an era where AI and advanced technologies are constantly reshaping our digital landscape, understanding and protecting your data has never been more crucial. As awareness of data collection and usage grows, adopting robust data privacy practices becomes essential. By leveraging secure technologies, staying informed about privacy threats, and proactively managing your personal information, you can navigate the complexities of the digital age with confidence.


This material is intended for informational purposes only, and is subject to change without notice. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, and is general in nature and should not be construed as a recommendation or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities nor does it represent legal or tax advice. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. does not provide legal or tax advice.

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