Data Privacy Day was Jan. 28

Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota

 

Many of us rely on the internet these days for everything from shopping to working to keeping up with friends. However, what many don’t understand is how much personal information is collected online and shared for various reasons. Jan. 28 was “Data Privacy Day,” and Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota wants everyone to take some time to make sure your information is protected online.

“Data Privacy Day” is an international effort to raise awareness of cybercrimes and highlight the importance of safeguarding sensitive information. BBB encourages individuals and businesses to consider these tips to stay protected:

• Secure your accounts. Update all your online accounts with strong passwords. Use a mix of upper-case and lower-case letters, along with numbers and symbols. Avoid reusing old passwords and using the same password for each account.  

• Verify security. When entering personal information on a website, make sure that site is secure.  Look for the “s” in “https://” because “http://” by itself is not secure. Avoid public WiFi when using a website where you need to enter sensitive data, such as a credit card number or Social Security number. Be careful when downloading unfamiliar apps, as some could contain malware.  

• Be careful where you click. Avoid clicking on links or attachments in emails, social media posts and online ads. Remember, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

• Watch out for hackers. The best way to avoid hackers, ransomware, viruses, and malware is to keep your security software, and any other software on your device, up-to-date. USBs and other external devices may be a hidden source of viruses and malware, so be sure to use your security software to scan them also.

• Safeguard your privacy. Don’t overshare on social media, you could be giving identity thieves the personal information about you that they can use to get into accounts. Make sure the settings on your social media pages are as private as possible. Also, check security settings on your apps to make sure they aren’t collecting unnecessary information.

BBB encourages anyone who has been a victim of a cybercrime to report it on Scam Tracker. For more information on cybersecurity, go to www.bbb.org.

 

—The mission of BBB is to promote, through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct, and to instill public confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, protect and assist the public. 

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