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Protect privacy: be vigilant with data

News from Better Business Bureau

Thanks to multiple publicized security breaches, 2016 has unofficially become known as “the year of the hack.” From Yahoo and Snapchat to the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service, it appears no one is safe from cyber-attacks.

To help combat security threats Better Business Bureau joined the National Cyber Security Alliance in promoting Data Privacy Day Jan. 28. The day is recognized annually to promote awareness about the importance of online privacy and protecting personal information.

The responsibility of keeping online data secure is a collaborative effort shared by both businesses and the public.

To make certain customer data is secure for businesses, BBB recommends the following business practices:

—Be transparent. Be open with clients on how personal information is collected, used and shared. Keep an open dialogue with the public about what privacy means to organizations and how it’s maintained.

—Host privacy trainings. Help employees stay up to date on safe privacy practices both at work and at home. This is important for any employee, whether they have direct contact with a customer or not.

—Keep employees accountable. Demonstrate to employees the vital role they play in keeping customers data secure. Empower employees to take charge of maintaining privacy. Consumers should be equally vigilant when protecting their personal information.

—Be WiFi wise. Not all public wireless networks and hotspots are secure, which could result in someone gaining access to a computer or mobile device. Limit access on public WiFi and avoid logging into key accounts.

—Lock it up. Just as someone would lock the front door, consumers need to secure their devices. Use strong passwords or passcodes to lock tablets and smartphones. Use two-step verification for added security.

—Think before clicking. Be wary of emails, unsolicited phone calls and text messages requesting personal information.

Want more? Go over to Stay Safe Online to learn more about Data Privacy Day.

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