Ten Thousand Emails In – I Think GDPR Might Be Important

If you’re anything like me, then you tend to stay the course for the sake of simplicity above all else. If you’re anything like me, you also have a couple of different websites set up as a side project for your writing jobs. If you’re anything like me, you might have received so many emails about GDPR that you wrote them off as spam or some sort of unimportant development which only concerns those in the EU. Thing is, if you’re anything like me, you might have made a terrible mistake.

Oh God, Oh No

As it turns out, the General Data Protection Regulations are a little more ranging than my hubris had anticipated, so let’s take a look at just how deeply I dug my own hole. These regulations, as it turns out, are not only very real, they introduce elements into data regulation which help protect, generally (a possible explanation for the name?) While the regulations put in place do primarily apply to the EU, they also apply to any website or business which operates within the European Union – meaning all globally-reaching online services need to pay attention.

GDPR Red” (CC BY 2.0) by Infosec Images

While the actual regulations are freely listed by the official GDPR website, figuring out if you are affected is much simpler than reading pages upon pages of yawn-inducing text dumps. Does your website or business sell or buy within the EU? Then, sorry buddy, you have some work to do. Does your website or business collect data from users within the EU? Same rules, so get ready to start flexing your reading muscles. Eyes, I think they’re called.

What Else Have I Done Wrong?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s what my uncle used to say before he lost his arm in a combine harvester. There’s a lesson there – and not just regarding farm safety. As I looked towards getting my own websites (not this one, don’t worry) towards GDPR regulation, I discovered that there’s actually a lot more I could do to keep my website safe, and it’s a lot easier than my definitely not laziness made me think.

My primary takeaway was that proper security for online databases requires one of two things – an advanced degree in network security, or a service which does the work for you. These services not only deal with getting websites compliant with GDPR and other privacy regulations, they can safeguard and back up your data, meaning I don’t have to rely on backups loaded across three badly scratched CDs, 12 ZIP disks, and the memory of one MP3 player from 2002.

The best of these include hacking protection, data surveillance, and the ability to find data security vulnerabilities, and that’s just a start.

Don’t Be Like Me

Bureaucracy is like having a partner who enjoys Bieber, often a nightmarish black hole of reality from which there seems no escape. Unlike with the Bieber issue, however, bureaucracy can be offloaded to services and businesses who are dedicated to helping out others in your situation. FAQs and helpful tutorials can get you started, and you can get everything on the right track by yourself should you care, but trust me when I say some minefields are best left to the professionals.

Stay classy, Rolling Stone…” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Andrew Currie

Also, on an unrelated note – when you’re getting to know someone you should be honest about how much some music irritates you. Don’t be like me.

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