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What are the Different Types of Privacy Protection?

By Carol Francois
Updated May 16, 2024
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The right to privacy is considered one of the basic human rights and is protected by law in almost all countries. Privacy protection describes the ability to keep specific information privacy or restricted to a limited number of people. There are four different types of privacy protection: physical, virtual, third-party and legislation.

Physical types of protection include the use of locks, pass codes or other security tools to restrict access to data or property. These security methods are effective only if access to the key or code is restricted or difficult to obtain. Many people fail to follow the proper protocol required to maintain a high degree of privacy. The mistakes people sometimes make include giving other people the keys or access codes or labeling keys so that the corresponding locks are easily identifiable.

Virtual privacy protection refers to all activity conducted via a computer or over the Internet. The first layer of virtual protection is a firewall. This software is used to restrict access to the files stored on a computer to users within the network or to those who have authorization. The next layer of privacy protection is to apply security protocols to the Internet connection. Software programs to eliminate any viruses or malicious programs are designed to maintain a certain level of data security.

There are several well-known companies that specialize in privacy protection. The services of these companies usually are obtained by people in high-profile positions or celebrities. The specific tools used to provide the protection vary, depending on the specific areas of concern for each client. For example, a prominent business leader might require lawyers to ensure that private information is not published in the media. A celebrity may want health issues to remain private.

Most countries have legislation or laws that specifically address privacy rights. Companies or people who violate these laws can face a civil lawsuit for monetary damages. Over time, privacy laws changed to increase personal privacy protection so that it includes information technology and the use of data provided for a specific purpose.

Many companies collect or obtain personal information as part of a service or contract with the customer. The companies then sell this information to marketing companies or affiliated businesses without the customer's permission. This activity generates revenue for the business and exposes the customer to unsolicited sales activity. This aspect of protection has been an area of concern for many people.

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Discussion Comments

By anon233731 — On Dec 08, 2011

I really think that people are so innocent and are really influenced by so these entertainment people who are utilizing something for business promotion and media, photographs which that could be programmed into standard languages that apply to internet technology. but utilizing some names, and targeting some images which can damage and invade others' lives and reputations.

I think this is harassment which would never have happened without the internet era and without photographer exchanges where bad people are taking advantage of bullying others, which is not legal.

Where is civilized law and any laws that prohibit businessmen, entertainers, artists, the media and any people who are being tricked? They should be stopped from targeting particular citizens or from spreading rumors that are as uncontrollable as bacteria. Is this discrimination? Where is the liberal society. Is it good or bad? What are the do's and what are the don'ts?

By Monika — On Sep 02, 2011

@indemnifyme - That's good. I hope the passwords you picked are strong ones.

There are other physical ways of information privacy protection. Last time I was at the pharmacy, I noticed they had the line forming a ways away from the counter. When someone tried to move the line up right behind the person who was in the middle of their transaction, I realized it was because of privacy.

When the pharmacist noticed how close the person was to the customer being helped, she politely asked them to step back. She explained that it was a consumer privacy procedure so no one could see what medicine the person before them was getting, or hear their questions!

I think that's a really good idea. I know I don't need some random stranger listening to me talk to the pharmacist about my medications or whatever.

By indemnifyme — On Sep 01, 2011

I deal with consumer's sensitive information at my job, and we have several layers of protection. In addition to having a firewall and a secure overall system, we have several layers of password protection.

My computer has a password on it, then to sign in to the company system I need another user name and password. In addition, I need two other user names and passwords to sign into the other part of our system.

I feel like all these layers protect the customers pretty well. It would be hard for someone to even sign on to my computer, but if they did they wouldn't be able to sign on to the company system anyway!

By Sunny27 — On Sep 01, 2011

I think that best threat to our security is the internet. Internet privacy protection is important because it is easy for a thief to get access to your information stored in your computer. I usually try to use strong passwords that use a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols. This makes it very difficult for a hacker to hack into my personal information.

I also two spyware and antivirus programs on my computer that are excellent. In order to keep a certain level of online privacy protection, you also really have to limit access to your email. I usually don’t sign up to be one mailing lists because I know that usually lots of other companies will have access to my information.

The more people that I give my personal information to; the more likely I will have problems protecting my privacy.

By Bhutan — On Aug 31, 2011

The protection of privacy is really important for high profile people. Sometimes overzealous fans or members of the paparazzi infringe on the rights of celebrities to live a normal life.

I think that just because you make a living in the public eye does not give the general public the right to harass these people when they are out and about. I understand why protecting their privacy is so important because many of these paparazzi photographers get big bucks to snap a picture of one of these celebrities especially if the photograph is unflattering or if they are distressed somehow.

I especially hate when these photographers try to take pictures of the celebrities’ children. They should never be allowed to be photographed. In fact, California signed a bill limiting these types of photographs from being published.

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