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My Data Protection Diary

My Data Protection Diary, 30th October 2020

I am really excited to write a new page of my Data Protection Diary… we are on our fifth instalment, this is amazing! I never imagined at the beginning of my Databasix experience that I could turn my lessons with Kellie into a true data protection blog. 

Every skill you improve turns into an opportunity for your and is a chance to share what you have learned with others. This is exactly what drives me every month to tell you about one of our fantastic online chats.

Lately, I have received several calls during working hours, where a clear and persistent voice asks me questions about an old car accident I was involved in.  And the question is: car accidents?! But I have not had any accidents and have only been driving in the UK for two months.

How many of you receive these unexpected and annoying calls? I say annoying because nobody likes to waste time on scams which, moreover, utterly annoy.  So, I guess you have heard of spam emails and calls too or have had one of these phone calls interrupt your day.

Curious to get more information on this topic related to the world of data protection, I decided to dedicate a discussion with Kellie to the SPAM world, because my phone number and my email are personal data!

Grab your cup of coffee, cappuccino or tea and enjoy this session full of valuable tips.

G.P.: Spam is an annoying or even dangerous practice, which consists of the repeated sending of e-mail messages generally of an advertising nature.  It can be just unsolicited messages from a company who have found or bought your email address, which is mostly annoying.  More frequently now, the e-mail contains a link through which the author of the message aims to scam the victim.

Why is it so dangerous to open the email and click on that link, Kellie?

K.P.: It is a fantastic topic, Giulia. I really want to answer this question.

First, we need to classify what kind of spam it is. If the appearance of the email is like a newsletter or marketing message you’re not interested in, you could just mark it as "Junk". If you receive an email, apparently sent by a person in your “contacts”, with a link attached, you must pay more attention. In this case, the spammer could get hold of some of your personal data.

Therefore, my advice is to carefully read the text of the email and understand if it was sent by someone you really know – even check the email address it came from.  If not, if you can see the name of a company in the header of the email, check on them out on the web through an online search first.

If you are not sure where the email came from, absolutely do not open the link.

To limit or prevent spam emails, I recommend everyone reads the privacy conditions presented on an online platform or on a registration form.  Understand what will happen to your personal data, before giving consent for it to be processed by a company. In fact, it is more than likely that your e-mail address will be disclosed to third parties.  And probably with your unwitting approval.

G.P.: Thank you, Kellie. Your advice is useful to me because before working with you, I had never paid attention to those too long descriptions. These define the processing of personal data and I did not understand that reviewing a privacy policy is key to safeguarding much of your personal data and not only that, maybe even unclogged my email box! 

Spam is not just in the form of emails or links in comments under posts, but also unwanted calls. How can you protect your telephone number and reduce the risk of receiving unsolicited calls in the future?

K.P.: Good question. Let me explain how personal data can be safeguarded, despite receiving a spam call.

As you mentioned in the introduction of this episode of the blog, Giulia, sometimes you can receive calls, such as those asking about road accidents, which remain completely astonishing and annoying... not only because of the phone call itself but also because they are using your phone number.   When you are not sure if what they are telling you is true, fearlessly ask simple questions, such as:

  • Could I know the name of your company?
  • Can I know where the physical base of the company is?
  • Where have you found my phone number or any kind of information about me?

If the call turns out to be spam, then ask them to delete your contact from their list before taking serious action.

But you know Giulia it often happens that they do not delete your contact and that after a few days your phone rings again… 

Well, all that remains is to act. In this case you can report them to the Information Commissioner by phone or through their official website.  If they receive a lot of complaints, they will investigate and can take drastic measures against these companies by making them pay expensive fines.

G.P.: Good to know!  It is important for me, Kellie, to know that there is a process that can help you limit these calls or messages. What is the greatest risk for these companies in terms of data protection? 

K:P: In relation to data protection, it is essential that companies using these contact lists know their origin, do you know why?

  • Firstly, you should not use personal information without knowing that you have a lawful basis to do so.
  • Also, a company that has negative reviews or is fined by the ICO is not going to have a good reputation.

For any business, reputation is an essential key to success. I always recommend using personal data with the appropriate legal basis linked to a specific purpose, protecting the customer.  For marketing messages, it’s most likely to either be consent or legitimate interests you’ll rely on to communicate with them.

Having a clear picture of how data protection works, safeguarding your information or that of customers is an added value for your company.

G.P.: Thanks Kellie for this helpful lesson. I agree with you that having a solid idea on how to manage personal data is an added value for the company.

As a Marketing Professional, every company that has greater added value than another is not only more competitive but is also more attractive to a customer.

 

In a few days Kellie will be delivering a course for all people who would like to improve their understanding of data protection.  Do not miss this opportunity to meet our expert and ask her questions directly, plus we might get to know each other too ☺ 

Don’t miss a course with Kellie!

 

Thanks for reading another episode of my blog, see you soon ... and maybe in person!

Giulia

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