Is Your Data Secure?
Today is Data Privacy Day. It is a day to raise awareness of data security, go over the how to protect ourselves better, and make some changes in the way we do things.
How many notices have you gotten about your data being stolen? I can’t even tell you home many times mine has been “leaked” and found its way to the dark web. Disqus, Yahoo, Equifax, Target, and many more. A dark web check the other day showed that my email account information has been compromised at least 5 times in the past year alone!
Stolen Credit Card Information
Then there are the times my credit card data has been stolen. Twice at the same restaurant supply store, Target, a skimmer at the gas station, and WalMart an employee who stole my card information from when I placed an online order. I only know because the person charged bought electronics using my card during the night one night. I have my cards set up that any charge over $100 I am notified immediately, as well as any foreign charges. I woke up to a message that my card was used at 3 AM at Walmart and the amount.
You hear the stories of people who have had their identities stolen. I talked with a couple a year or so ago who said it had been over ten years and they were STILL dealing with having their identity stolen. Over 10 years!
What Can We Do?
First, be careful online. Some things we know to do (whether we do them or not). Thing like use secure passwords, don’t write your passwords and stick them on your computer, don’t give out your passwords, don’t use publicly known information for your passwords – like your name or address, etc.
Then there are things we don’t think about. When we go to a coffee shop or doctor’s office or library or any other public place and use their wifi. That’s a security risk. They say to never do any banking, ordering online or anything like that at these places but SO many people do. They say to use a VPN browser when out. I have one installed but I don’t use it. Why? My passwords are all in Chrome.
I Don’t Have All the Answers
I don’t have all the answers. In fact every day I feel like I’m falling farther behind with computer knowledge. I was way ahead of people until the Internet and Windows came along. Since then its been an uphill battle and I feel I’m losing ground.
So…What Do We Do?
For me, personally, I have good antivirus and malware protection. I have a passwords manager that creates passwords I’ll never remember and have a hard time typing in even when I see them. I have the advantage that I’m mostly at home. I don’t go to coffee shops and surf the ‘net. I may look something up at a store, but I’m not ordering or putting in a password. I don’t “pay at the pump” anymore. I go
Beyond that, I learn what I can and make adjustments. I also have an identity theft policy. Just like we have car insurance, homeowners or renters insurance, health insurance, and whatever other insurance you may have, I believe identity theft protection insurance is now a thing that everyone needs.
Turn to the Experts
I like the
A Surprising Way You Give Away Your Information
I’ve said this so many times. Every time you take one of those quizzes that promises to tell you what your favorite color is, or what celebrity you’re like, or whatever, you answer a bunch of personal questions. They seem innocent, but they are not. They are gathering information about you. PLUS when you take these tests it says they have access to your Facebook feed, your FB friends lists, and their feeds. Seriously? Do you want to give away all that personal information? There are contests that also ask you a bunch of personal information. Think twice before you answer the questions – or give access to your FB feed and friends list and their feeds.
Identity Theft Policy
I have an identity theft policy. Mine was actually free I think forever because my information was taken from the Equifax breech and they already saw it was sold on the dark web. They went beyond the “we’re giving you a year’s worth of monitoring” to “when your year is up we’re changing companies to another company with more services and it’s free.” But my understanding is that Youngevity Services has the best Data Protection and Credit Monitoring service. It’s what I have for my daughter. What I like about it is that there’s a family policy that groups your entire family. That makes it less than the other more famous company, even if their services were equal.
Today there is a free online learning discussion. Here’s the flyer:
Other Posts About Internet Safety:
I hope this has been helpful.
Updated grammar errors and added a link to a companion post 12/8/19