Protect What Matters on Data Privacy Day

Imagine a “Privacy Facts” label on the apps, devices, and websites you use. Like a digital version of the “Nutrition Facts” on the sides of your cereal boxes and other food you buy. With a quick look, you could see what the company behind that app, device, or website collects — and what they do with it. 

Sadly, no such label exists. The fact of privacy today is that it takes work to uncover how the apps, devices, and websites you use collect your personal data and info.  

To uncover those details, you’ll find yourself wading through privacy policies, which are known for their thick legalese. And they can get rather vague. Words like “may” and “might” leave the door open for what companies really do with the personal info and data they collect. They “may” share it with other parties and they “might” sell it to other parties as well.  

Meanwhile, those other parties “may” or “might” use it for their own purposes. Other parties that are largely unknown to you, if not completely unknown, because they’re undisclosed. 

As a result, once your personal data and info gets out there, it has a way of getting around. 

Data and info collection powers the internet, which counts as yet one more fact of privacy. Yet that collection has its legal and ethical boundaries. And those boundaries stand front and center once again this Data Privacy Day.  

Data Privacy Day gives us a chance to consider the importance of respecting privacy, of protecting data, and of building trust. Particularly on the internet, where data is the coin of the realm. It holds great value. Companies want it to improve their services and marketing. Bad actors want it to commit fraud and theft — or sell it on dark marketplaces. 

Your clutch of personal data and info has a price tag hanging on it. That makes it worth protecting. 

Granted, we think about privacy every day. The value it has. The importance of protecting it. And how we can make that protection it stronger and easier for you. That’s very much on our minds in a time where people say they have little idea about what personal data and info gets collected.  

Indeed, plenty of people are scratching their heads about their privacy online. Findings from Pew Research in 2023 showed that roughly three-quarters of Americans surveyed said they feel like they have little or no control over data collectioni. Moreover, 67% of them said they understand little to nothing about what companies are doing with their personal data. That’s up 8% from 59% in 2019ii. 

In four short years, more people feel like protecting their privacy is out of their hands. Even the ripple effects of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)iii and strong consumer privacy laws in a dozen or so U.S. statesiv haven’t increased their confidence. Only 61% of Americans feel that anything they do will make much difference when it comes to managing their privacy onlinev 

Yet something else has happened in those four years. Online protection software has become more powerful. Particularly when it comes to privacy. Even if things feel otherwise, you truly can take significant steps that make a difference in your privacy. 

As far as our online protection software goes, it offers several simple and powerful ways to protect your privacy. McAfee+ features Personal Data Cleanup and Online Account Cleanup — two ways you can take control of your data and info. With them, you can: 

  • Remove your data and info from risky data broker sites.  
  • Also remove your data and info from old accounts, which makes them one less target for a data breach. 

Further, McAfee+ rounds things out with our VPN. That keeps you anonymous from advertisers and other data collectors, all while securing you from other prying eyes online. 

Those handful of features, part of your overall identity and virus protection, can make you far more private. Even in a time of opaque privacy policies and heavy data collection online. Once again, our aim is to make that simple and powerful for you. 

It really is too bad there’s not a label for privacy. Sure, it’d be nice if you could peer into the Privacy Facts of the apps, devices, and websites you use. But the good news is that online protection software can put you in control of your personal data and info without those details. You truly are in more charge of your privacy than you might feel nowadays. 






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