Ask Our Cyber Security Team: How Do I Stay Protected Online? - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Nov 30, 2021

Ask Our Cyber Security Team: How Do I Stay Protected Online?

Use These Data Privacy Tips to Protect Your Personal and Professional Information Online
As the age of technology continues to place more of our business and personal lives online, the ability and know-how to keep yourself and your family safe online has also evolved. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, Data Privacy Day, which is observed annually on January 28, was created to broadcast the importance of online privacy, as well as to highlight easy ways to protect personal information and remind organizations of the best data privacy practices when it comes to running their businesses.
To recognize Data Privacy Day, we’ve teamed up with Darlene Camenga of our Cyber Security team to share a few of the easiest ways to protect your personal information!  

Online Safety Basics

While the internet can be a powerful tool, it’s important that you don’t venture online without taking some basic safety precautions.  When asked about the importance of data privacy, Darlene says “Taking certain safety precautions is a vital component in protecting valuable data.  Think of it in the same way you think of a bank or safe to protect cash and jewelry. This is how our data should be protected.”  

Use the following basic best-practices to keep you and your devices safe:

1. Frequently check to be sure your virus protection software is installed and up to date.

2. Remember to create electronic copies or backups of important files.

3. When online shopping, it’s important to only shop using reputable websites. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!

4. Spam and phishing attempts are on the rise. Cybercriminals are constantly looking for new ways to lure people in and get them to click on a link or open an attachment.  Be sure to stop and think before you click on anything that feels suspicious or that you weren’t expecting to receive.  

Managing your Privacy

“Being mindful of what you share on social media is another thing to remember when it comes to data privacy” Darlene says. Listing information like your maiden name, birthday, or names of
pets can go a long way in aiding a cybercriminal to hack into your accounts.  It’s also important to note that your mobile devices are within a stranger’s reach anywhere you go, and they share substantial information about you and your habits.  
Following these basic privacy tips can help you better manage your personal information:

1. Keep security software updated on all devices that connect to the internet and delete old or unused apps.

2. It’s important to secure your devices using strong passphrases, passcodes, or touch identification to keep others out of your devices.

3. Be thoughtful about how your information is collected through different apps and websites. Information like what you search for online and where you shop has value to hackers. You will want to use security and privacy settings on websites and apps to manage what and how information is shared.

4. Public wireless hotspots and networks are never secure. This means anyone could potentially see information on your device while you are connected.  It’s important to limit your use of public Wi-Fi, as well as avoid logging into accounts like email or banking services. You might also consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a mobile hotspot if you need a secure connection when away from home.

5. Fraudulent text messages, calls and voicemails are similar to fraudulent emails in that mobile requests for personal data or immediate action are almost always scams. When in doubt, its best to report the message as spam and then promptly delete it.

Cybercrime is constantly evolving around us. By using these simple tips you are more likely to stay safe and protect your personal information online. For more information on keeping yourself safe and secure online, click the button below.