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Difference: Privacy vs Security

Difference: Privacy vs Security

The modern era has created a new threat in the digital world. In this age of information, people are not only open to threats in the physical world but the digital world as well.

The digital world has provided ample opportunity for cybercriminals to target innocents and access their personal and private data without authorization. Given the significance of the threat, people must take every action possible to keep themselves private and secure.

However, there is a common misconception between privacy and security. People often use the terms privacy and security interchangeably. While the reality is that the two are quite different from one another.

Thus, the reason for presenting this discussion. The discussion below will once and for all clear the confusion between privacy vs security. So, let’s clear up this confusion without delaying it any further.

What is Data Privacy?

In layman’s terms, privacy is the right of any person to restrict unwanted interference and intrusion. To clarify it even further, it is a person’s right to be left unbothered. Now, data privacy will thus be implied on the data owned by any person. Every person has the right to restrict access to their data. And only those given access to that data should be able to access it.

What is Data Security?

Security is something one adopts to ensure the privacy discussed above. If data privacy is the right to keep one’s data private, data security is the measures taken to secure that data. All actions that lead to protecting one’s data from danger or unauthorized access would fall under data security.

Importance of Privacy

While understanding the difference between privacy and security, one should also know why each is important to them. Data privacy is something that millions of people often neglect. However, this neglect can have catastrophic consequences. If people fail to keep sensitive information private, they can become victims of numerous cyber threats. Here are a few to give readers a gist of what the dangers are:

Identity Theft

Everyone on the planet has a birthday, and almost everyone has a social security number, a phone number, and an email address. If parts of this information fall into the wrong hands, it will cause significant harm to the person. Personal information can be stolen to illegally assume another person’s identity and conduct illegal transactions in their name. If this information is not kept private, who knows what the consequences there may be.


Cybercriminals are routinely engaged in conducting malicious activities online. They target innocent people, defrauding them of millions of dollars if they are lucky. These frauds can be prevented if proper data privacy is ensured.

Phishing Scams

This is yet another hazard present on the web. Often performed via emails, phishing scams target people by presenting themselves as legitimate emails. If the recipient is not careful in determining the origin of the email, they might even lose the entirety of their savings in one go.

Why Do You Need Security?

Cyber attacks occur at a mind-bogglingly rapid pace. And these attacks can cost the target billions of dollars or worse if proper precautions are not taken. Thus, merely understanding the difference between data privacy vs data security is not enough. One has to utilize the necessary tools that can prevent these cyberattacks.

Security vs Privacy

The primary difference between privacy and security is that security is implemented and that implementation achieves privacy. Additionally, it may be possible that the data is secure but not private. However, the data can’t be private without being secure. Data privacy and security are vital in keeping people out of harm’s way. And preventing cyber attacks will require everyone to establish certain security protocols to ensure data privacy.

Tips for Protecting your Privacy & Security

Now that the confusion is cleared between privacy and security, readers should also know how to safeguard themselves from online dangers. Here are some of the most reliable practices that can provide proper data security, which will further enable complete data privacy:

Use a VPN Service

A VPN service is something that should be utilized in all online scenarios. A VPN service is a tool that can encrypt the online traffic traveling to and from a device. This, a VPN achieves by masking the actual IP address of the user and replacing it with a virtual IP address from another geographical location. As such, the user’s location and personal information stay hidden from the public eye. Ivacy VPN is a VPN service offering all the necessary security protocols to keep user data private.


Keep the Firewall Activated

Every computer comes with a firewall pre-installed on it. And this firewall prompts the user of any imminent threat should it ever occur. However, users often disable their firewalls claiming that the pop-ups are irritating or it is preventing certain apps from functioning.

A firewall is designed to keep all threats at bay. If the firewall is up and running, the user can prevent certain threats from affecting their computer. And if the firewall is disabled, cybercriminals are open to coming and targeting you.

Limit What You Share Online

It is not enough to understand the difference between privacy vs security; one must also take the necessary measures to implement them. And one way to achieve that is by limiting the amount of online information.

Social media platforms and mobile devices may have created a convenient environment for sharing every update of the day, but that has chaotic consequences. By sharing every piece of information online, be it birthday celebrations, work anniversaries, photos of a vacation, or anything else, users make the job easy for hackers to target them. Thus, one should adopt the habit of sharing as little as possible online.

Install an Antivirus Software

An antivirus is a tool that should be installed on any device connected to the internet. Antivirus software can take the necessary measures should the device ever be infected by malware or a virus. Unfortunately, antivirus software suffer the same fate as a firewall. Users often disable the antivirus software or do not update it routinely. Failing to enable the antivirus software leaves the device vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Use Complex Passwords

A password is the first line of defense against all cyber threats. If the password is cracked, there is much effort that cybercriminals have to make to commit fraud. However, people sometimes use passwords that have some personal significance to them. This makes the password easier to crack. Ideally, a password should consist of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. And a password must never be derived from birthdays, social security numbers, bank account numbers, or anniversaries.

Avoid Connecting to Public Wi-Fi Networks

Public Wi-Fi networks allow cybercriminals to extract users’ personal information easily. Since these Wi-Fi networks are often left open, anyone can connect. Thus, connecting to them is the most dangerous thing anyone can do. While utilizing one’s cellular data is expensive at times, it is still less expensive than providing access to your personal information. And in the rare case that connecting to a public Wi-Fi hotspot is unavoidable, a VPN service like Ivacy VPN should always be in between.

Use Adblockers

Adblockers are third-party extensions that can be installed on internet browsers. These extensions prevent irritating pop-up ads from ever showing up. However, installing these extensions is not the only thing that can prevent irritation. Adblockers prevent third-party platforms from tracking you everywhere you go online. As a result, one can stay safe from targeted ads that spy on them.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor authentication is an added measure to keep one’s privacy and security intact. If two-factor authentication is enabled, access is only granted to a platform when an additional platform vouches. When a person tries to access their account on a new device, a message or email is sent to their account for two-factor authentication. And once the verification is provided from the other account, the user will be able to access the platform.

Browse in Incognito Mode

Internet browsers also keep track of a user’s browsing history and the transactions they may have performed. Incognito mode or private mode is a feature that allows users to prevent their activity session from being stored. Once the incognito browsing session is terminated, all the activity and information of that session are wiped. And when the user returns for a second session, the session starts from scratch.

Never Leave Accounts Logged In

It is a common practice for most to leave their accounts logged in company devices or devices in educational institutes. And while this act might save a few additional seconds each day, it can create a significant vulnerability in one’s data privacy and security.

The ideal thing to do is never to leave an account logged in a device that multiple people use. Whether it is a device at home or anywhere else, one must always log out from their account when done.

Summing It All Up

Here is everything that readers should know about the difference between privacy and security. While one might seem more important than the other, both are equally important to create a safe environment online.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between privacy vs security?

Security is the measures taken to achieve data privacy for the user.

Is data protection and privacy the same?

Though many people may use the terms privacy and security as alternates of one another, the two are quite different. However, both are equally important to ensure safety from threats online.

What are the three types of privacy?

The three types of digital privacy are:

  • Information privacy
  • Communication privacy
  • Individual privacy

Can you have privacy without security?

Security is something that is not dependent on privacy to exist. It may be possible that security is in place, but the data is not private. However, security has to be present in some capacity for the data to become private.

Why is it important to protect privacy?

A person needs to keep certain data private to ensure that they do not become a victim of any malicious activity from outside. If privacy is not ensured, fraud, phishing scams, identity thefts, and harassment become more probable.

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