I am sure a vast majority of the news you may see online, in your local newspaper or on the television, is about our worldwide 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. I think we all agree; there has been nothing like this occur in our lifetimes! Mixed in that news, you may have also heard about several data breaches that occurred during the last year. These include intrusions to several of our Federal government branches, to Zoom, Google, MGM, TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Marriott, and Twitter, to name some of them. As you can fathom, you may be familiar with any of these, and use them!
I like to think of an analogy of protection during a pandemic and how it correlates to data privacy/data protection. You may ask yourself, “Do I wear a mask, do I social distance, do I wash my hands or don’t I?” This also carries to our personal and professional lives, with the use of electronic devices, phones, computers etc. You may ask yourself similar questions. “Do I keep my systems protected, do I have updated security software and security in place, are my passwords complex, or not”? Do you take both scenarios the same way? Do you ignore it? Do you have a lax approach, like, “There’s no way this can happen to me!”
Guess what? It can, it will, or probably already has!
Not to be an alarmist, but what I am trying to point out is that preventative medicine is the best medicine! This “medicine” is your daily behaviors and practices you have in place, or need to have in place, to keep your personal information safe and secure. This includes not only your information, but that of your family or friends, or any mix of that you may share electronically.
Data Privacy and Cell Phones
Your electronic practices must include the use of virus protection software on your personal computer, as well as your cell phones. Yes, smartphones have also become a target of malicious attacks and compromise! Your protection software may also include Malware protection, Internet browser protection and certainly should also include very frequent updates to virus protection definitions, software bug fixes, and patches. It is imperative to keep all of these software programs up to date and paid. These fees, usually monthly or annually, are monies well spent.
Data Privacy Resolution
The new year is also a time for resolutions. My recommendation: resolve to continually be aware of your daily activities on all the devices you use, the information you share, and who or whom with you share information! Always keep in mind before you type, “what if this information became public, or fell into the wrong hands?” What would you do? How would you feel? How would you react? Prevention is the best medicine!