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What is data sharing? Everything you need to know

Data sharing is at the heart of how the internet works. Individuals, companies, and websites share data constantly. This article will explain the various forms of data sharing and help you make your data more secure.

What is data sharing? Everything you need to know

Data sharing explained

Data sharing is the process of making data available to others. Many entities, from corporations to academic institutions, share their data because of transparency and openness policies. Shared data can vary from research papers or scholarly publications to corporate statistics, scientific data, or annual performance reviews.

Data sharing shows an institution’s credibility, promotes activities, and establishes a connection with customers or the community. Publicly available data also encourages feedback and an external critical approach from the community.

Data withholding is the opposite of data sharing. It is a deliberate withholding of data when someone requests it be provided. Data withholding can have many justifications, including protecting privacy and sensitive information or avoiding potential rivalry in a particular field. While data withholding can be a protective measure in some cases, it can also cause a loss of trust and transparency.

Data sharing is strongly accelerated by social media platforms, where people and various entities share their personal and corporate data. Social media networks encourage data sharing but simultaneously create privacy problems and make it more difficult to stay anonymous online.

Data sharing in the cloud

Cloud services also make data sharing practices more convenient and widespread. Companies and individual users no longer need to store data in their hard drives. Instead, they can keep it in a cloud accessible to other users.

Cloud data sharing is useful for organizations for the following reasons:

  • Data sharing across companies makes businesses more efficient.
  • Data sharing prevents data silos. Members of a single organization can access the same data sources. It makes it easier to keep everyone informed and minimizes the misinterpretation of data.
  • A company can sell its accumulated data.

Data sharing examples

Here are some examples of data sharing:

  • Companies in the same field often share data for deeper market insights and to identify fraud patterns and potential threats in the market.
  • Enterprises also share data with their customers to establish trust and provide the required information about their products.
  • Institutions share scientific data to gain additional external insights and prove their credibility.
  • Data sharing is also used in areas with fast data flows where data should be accessed quickly without encryption keys.
  • Extensive data sharing also takes place on social media on a personal and corporate level.

Advantages of data sharing

Data sharing has many advantages. Here are the major benefits of sharing data:

  • pros
    The amount of quality publicly available data enables better research and development for companies and academic institutions. It also creates new possibilities for collaboration.
  • pros
    Sharing data enables data-driven decision-making and collaboration. It also creates a positive social impact because society can become more educated by accessing the shared data.
  • pros
    Data sharing provides long-term safe storage of your data if you deposit it in a repository.
  • pros
    It demonstrates your openness and transparency.
  • pros
    Data sharing also reveals your competencies, performance, and academic achievements. Others can use your data in their research papers and promote your content.
  • pros
    In corporate settings, data sharing can improve efficiency. Employees can easily access and become familiar with the newest business insights and updates.

Disadvantages of data sharing

Data sharing also introduces threats. Here are a few of them:

  • cons
    Your data can be misused or misinterpreted. People can take it out of context and distort its original meaning and intention.
  • cons
    Others can plagiarize your data and use it without copyrights.
  • cons
    If you share personal or sensitive data, someone can use it to breach your privacy or hack you.
  • cons
    If you store your data in a cloud or a third-party service, a data breach or a hack is always possible.
  • cons
    Irresponsible data sharing can violate the privacy of involved parties.
  • PRO TIP: Use Meshnet to secure your remote projects and ensure safe file sharing with your friends or colleagues.

How to protect your data

Here are a few data management tips that will help you to make your data safer:

  • Always think carefully before sharing your data. Ensure that the data won’t expose your sensitive information or jeopardize your or your company’s privacy.
  • Avoid unnecessary data sharing. Share your data only when you think it’s useful.
  • Use a reliable and safe cloud storage service to store your data.
  • Encrypt your sensitive data. It will make it safe even if it falls into the wrong hands, because no one will be able to access encrypted data. Check out our NordLocker tool for proper file encryption.
  • Use a VPN. It will encrypt your data and minimize the possibility of someone intercepting your traffic and snatching your sensitive info. NordVPN has many great features to enhance your security. Check out our article about other interesting VPN uses.

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