Information Misuse

Understanding Misuse and Preventing it

Information or data misuse is pretty simple: using information in a way it wasn’t intended to be used.

Unlike data theft, in the case of data misuse, information isn’t always passed to third parties. The most common reasons for misuse are lack of awareness, personal gain, silent data collection, and using trade secrets in order to start a new business.

In some cases, misuse can lead to a data breach, which can have significant implications for individuals and businesses. For example, an employee can copy data simply to work at home to a portable storage device but stored in an unsecured environment (e.g. on a home laptop), this confidential data can be stolen by hackers or accidentally leaked.

Even the innocent mishandling of information can open the door for data breaches but by learning how to securely use and manage data, you can shield yourself and your data from leaks and attacks.


Protection against Information Misuse

Manage Data Access

Access is the entry point for potential misuse. Sometimes this happens because users share an account or a passwords in order to save time. Other times access happens by accident, but on some occasions it’s done purposely for personal gain so never share your passwords or share access to files with anyone.

Monitor Actions

One of the ways organisations detect and prevent misuse of data is to see exactly what happens after data is accessed. They may use dedicated user monitoring solutions which allow them to easily see what exactly has happened with data i.e. when it was used, how, and by whom.

Educate Yourself

When talking about how to prevent data misuse, don’t underestimate the power of educating yourself to understand what data is confidential so that you don’t accidentally leak data or use it inappropriately.

Turn off your Computer

When you’re finished using your computer or laptop, power it off. Leaving computing devices on, and most often, connected to the Internet, opens the door for rogue attacks that may cause misuse of your data.


If you have been impacted by this issue you can get further information from the Data Protection Commission


“Security used to be an inconvenience sometimes, but now it’s a necessity all the time. Martina Navratilova”

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