Q. Cyber data security becomes more of a threat daily. What advice may BBB provide on data protection?
A. The possibility of a cyberattack by a foreign country has gone from being the stuff of science fiction to a common threat that is often reported in the news. While it may seem like there is nothing an individual can do to stop a cyberattack, there are some best practices that consumers and businesses can do to help guard against losing important personal information to cyber thieves.
Quite a bit of personal information is already shared on the internet by cell phones, tablets, laptops or any other device that connects through Wi-Fi or an internet provider. These access points make it easier to shop, bank, make travel arrangements, and keep in touch with friends or family. When online, safeguard your information to help avoid scams, fraud, and identity theft. Data Privacy Day is January 28 which is an ideal time to review who has your information. The Better Business Bureau , www.bbb.org and the National Cyber Security Alliance, www.staysafeonline.org offer the following tips to help secure the privacy of critical information:
Share with care. Posts on social media last a long time. Consider who will see the post, how it might be perceived by readers, and what information it might reveal about the individual posting it.
Manage privacy settings. Check the privacy and security settings on web services and apps and set them to your comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application or browser used will have different features to limit how and with whom you share information.
Personal info is like money: Value it. Protect it. Personal information, such as purchase history, IP address, or location, has tremendous value to businesses – just like money. Make informed decisions about whether or not to share data with certain businesses by considering the amount of personal information they are asking for, and weighing it against the benefits you may receive in return.
Make your passwords long and strong. Use long passwords with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols – eight characters for most accounts, twelve…