Data Privacy Day, an international effort to highlight the importance of protecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust, will be Jan. 27. According to a survey conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance and Zogby International, only 26 percent of Americans felt “their home computer was safe from viruses,” while only 21 percent felt safe from hackers.
Every year we see hundreds of data breaches along with hundreds of millions of records compromised. The responsibility of keeping online data secure is shared both by businesses and consumers. The Better Business Bureau offers some suggestions for consumers concerned that their PII has been stolen:
– Do not take a “wait and see” approach as you may have done with breaches involving credit card data. You must act quickly. Breaches involving Social Security numbers have the potential to be far more detrimental to victims, and the damage can be difficult to repair.
– Consider taking a preemptive strike by freezing your credit reports. This will not impact existing credit cards and financial accounts, but will create a roadblock for thieves seeking to create fraudulent accounts using your personal information.