Wednesday, Jan. 28 is Data Privacy Day, an annual event created seven years ago by the National Cyber Security Alliance to empower and educate people to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint. In 2013, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received nearly 270,000 complaints related to online crime and fraud and of those complaints, almost 50 percent of those reported financial loss.
From phishing emails to unsecure websites to smishing texts, technology can be a minefield of hackers and scammers. Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin urges consumers to be aware your personal information could be at risk of exposure if you don’t have security in mind.
BBB has this advice for protecting your personal information online:
- Update your software. Your computer should have the latest anti-virus software installed, along with a secure firewall.
- Shop on trustworthy websites. Check a seller’s reputation and record of customer satisfaction at bbb.org. Look for the https:// in the address box to ensure you’re shopping on a secure website.
- Set strict privacy settings. Consider restricting access on social network profiles to only friends or family, or people you know. Avoid connecting with anyone on social networking sites who you are unfamiliar with.
- Set strong passwords. Make sure all passwords, most importantly your passwords for online banking, social media accounts and emails are difficult to guess.
- What you post can last a lifetime. Before posting online think about how it might be perceived now and in the future and who might see it.
- Be aware of what’s being shared. Be aware that when you share a post, picture or video online, you may also be revealing information about others. Be thoughtful when and how you share information.
- Post only about others as you have them post about you. The golden rule applies online as well.
Your BBB wants to help consumers better understand how their personal information may be collected and the benefits and risks of sharing personal data. For more tips, visit bbb.org.