Your personal data is valuable, and dangerous in the wrong hands. It's time to protect it better

The rise in the amount of personal data we’re all producing, combined with the hunger of online crooks to seize on any information they can exploit for their own benefit, has created an “explosive combination” that is putting our privacy at risk.

Whether it’s via your smartphone, your web browser or your applications, data about you is being produced all the time. In some cases, you’re explicitly producing it yourself, perhaps by posting on social media, while in other cases it’s because metadata about how you move around the web is being collected and sent to big tech companies, their advertisers and others.

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In some cases, people are aware that information is being shared, because they’ve shared it themselves, while they might be less clear about how data about their activity on the web is being collected – if they’re even aware it’s being collected at all.

SEE: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (ZDNet special report)

Because not only is there the risk that corporations could paint an intimate picture of your demographics, interests and fears, the more data that’s produced the more that’s available to be mined and harnessed – and not just

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