By Nicole Brewer

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — By now, you’ve heard the phrase “data breach.” But, what about the acronym “GDPR”?

It stands for the General Data Protection Regulation, the European Union’s new data privacy law, which gives people more control over their personal data and safeguards how it’s collected.

“I believe every one of us needs privacy,” said Dr. Pablo Molina, chief information security officer at Drexel University.

He says the European Union’s law impacts global companies and users worldwide, which is why you may have received emails from companies, asking for consent.

For Americans, Molina says it’s pretty simple. If you didn’t sign up for the service or no longer want it, do nothing.

“If this is a retailer you want to receive information from, then make sure you comply or else you’ll be dropped from their email list,” said Molina.

With the new policy in effect Friday, Molina says it’s important to keep an eye out for phishing scams, in the form of emails.

“Not only are they asking us to confirm if they want to receive emails, they ask for additional information, account names, password,” added Molina.

Molina says that is never a good idea and encourages users to be vigilant about their own data, even as companies attempt to improve things on their end.