In this new, technological world a lot of personal data is stored on computers and transferred over the Internet. Medical records and financial data are no longer stored on a computer that is completely isolated and not connected to anything else. These records contain not only your name and address but also your insurance information, banking account numbers, credit card information, and quite possibly medical information you do not wish to have made public knowledge. To ensure that all this data is safe from prying eyes, or worse yet someone who wants to use the information to steal from you, data masking is put in place. Here are a few of the more common methods used to keep your personal data safe.
Substitution is a common and effective way of keeping your data safe. The computer program changes out your information with false data from a database, making each bit of information look like the original information. Anyone looking to find out about you would never see your name or data, thereby not knowing which is yours. For example, the database may exchange everyone with the first name of "Mary" to read as "Joan." Your address will be wrong, and numbers, such as the social security number or credit card information, will not match you, or anyone else correctly. Since all the data appears to be normal, no one will suspect it is wrong and anything taken from the records cannot be used.
This method is similar to substitution but the information substituted is not from a database. Instead, it is shuffled around to appear normal but is wrong. For example, if the last four digits of your social security number are 9578, it may appear in the file as 5897. The computer program will generate the way things are randomly shuffled so it will be very hard for someone to figure out what goes where.
Encryption is a form of substitution, but the end results do not necessarily look like any of the original data. For example, your surname of "Jones" may be encrypted to be "Hszle." Anyone trying to get to your data would know that encryption is being used and could, theoretically, try to break the code. It is also possible that the key to the encryption could be stolen.
Many companies and institutions use a combination of data masking techniques to keep your data from falling into the wrong hands. There are also measures in place to prevent people from being able to access the databases in the first place. While you need to be careful about who has your sensitive data, it is nearly impossible to be completely safe. However, be assured that more and more security is being used to prevent anyone from being able to obtain and use it. Contact local professionals, such as those from Trial Vault International Inc, for further assistance.Share
6 April 2016
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