Brier Grieves April 11, 2015 No Comments

As technology advances the demand for protecting our data increasingly grows. Almost all we do now is documented and online, or backed up online, or relying on technology to run day to day operations.  Up until recently this was a special type of insurance/protection that was not something you could get anywhere. As more cyber attacks happen and we continue to rely more and more on technology it has become easier to get this and not a specialty market anymore.

According to the “2015 Data Breach”, a report issued by Identity Theft Resource Centre (ITRC), on March 11, in 2014 data breaches in the U.S. totaled 783, an increase of 28% from the previous year.

In the last 2 years several large companies fell victims to serious data breaches. Home Depot, Target, Sony, Neiman Marcus and JP Morgan Chase to name a few. This raised awareness about the severity of this situation and how any company could be attacked. This not only disrupts customer relations but also employee relations. Reputations are at stake and more importantly customers private information is jeopardized.

These breaches can also represent a risk to national security and economies. Major steps and precautions have to be taken to protect secret and sensitive data. During President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address he included an update to the 2011 Cyberspace Legislative proposal. This included new law initiatives on all-important breach reporting rules with simplification and standardization all existing 47 state laws into on federal statute.

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What can you do to protect yourself?

According to an article from Forbes we have to realize that hackers are here to stay and they are getting increasingly more sophisticated at breaking through companies’ firewalls.

Companies do not let the public know about a cyber-security breach until they have factual evidence which can take months. So your information could be compromised for months before you find out.

There are a few steps you can take to protect yourself from this and monitor your digital security.

  • Sign up for alerts: Most financial institutions have alerts you can set-up to go off when purchases are made or if anything that seems out of the ordinary for your accounts happen.
  • Keep your information private: Companies do not ask for your passwords. At no time should you ever give out your login information, pincodes or other private details.
  • Monitory weekly: Set a specific day of the week to sit and down and review all of your statements to make sure that there is no unauthorized activity.
  • Change passwords: Make it a habit to frequently change your passwords and make them strong.