Upcoming Data Privacy Day sparks digital data safety warnings

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    Did you know that less than one-third of Canadian small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are ‘very familiar’ with common cyber security terms such as ransomware, social engineering and two-factor authentication?* With Data Privacy Day coming up on January 28th, BBB says it’s an opportunity for business owners and consumers to protect their digital data.

    “Keeping your personal information safe online is crucial to minimizing your risk of identity theft,” says Mary O’Sullivan-Andersen, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay. “It’s important to remember that with the advancements of today’s technology also come safety concerns. The key is to determine how sensitive your digital information is and practice cyber security regularly.”

    Here are some data privacy tips to help you protect your personal information:

    • Keep backups disconnected. Using an external hard drive or USB stick to regularly back up your information is great, but unplug and disconnect them once you are done backing up. That way, if your computer does become infected with a virus or malware, the contents of your backups are safe.
    • Longer passwords are better. Passwords don’t have to be complex to keep hackers at bay. Having a lengthier password, such as a popular song lyric or phrase that you will easily remember is best. Remember to keep different passwords for different online accounts and change them every few months.
    • Look at the entire URL. It’s easy for scammers to create fake websites with realistic looking URL addresses, it may be off by just one letter than the official website you think you’re visiting. Check the entire URL web address to ensure you’re not on a malicious third-party website.
    • Do you know the difference between Cloud storage and online backup? Cloud storage is used to backup specific files on the Internet that you can also share with others. Online backup is used to backup your entire computer or device so you can easily restore these files while allowing you to keep your file structure.
    • Only use secure WiFi networks. Stick to using apps while on a secure Wi-Fi connection, like at home or at your place of work. Using free, public Wi-Fi hotspots aren’t always secure, and could mean a greater chance of your information being accessed by others.

    *Cyberattack Risk Spikes At $10 million In Annual Revenue For Small and Medium Sized Businesses

    For tips you can trust, visit bbb.org.  

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