January 28 is Data Privacy Day. Millions of people are unaware of and uninformed about how their personal information is being used, collected or shared in our digital society.
Data Privacy Day is an international effort to inspire dialogue, and to empower individuals and businesses to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust. It began in 2008 in the US and Canada and commemorates the signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection.
Most of know someone who has had their identity stolen and how much time and money were involved in resolving the problems it caused. But are you aware that many online sites share your information with other sites, retailers, and more? Have you noticed how many targeted ads you received after visiting certain sites? Your information has been shared by another site.
At Fortis, we are constantly on alert for signals that our clients are being targeted for financial scams. We follow strict procedures to make sure that suspicious emails or phone calls regarding requests for funds, transfers, and other account transactions or changes are genuine. The scammers already have some bit of information that may have been obtained without the client’s permission – a Social Security Number or account number, for example. Do you know what policies your financial service providers and advisors have in place to protect your personal information? Do you do your part by following these tips?
Start by updating your privacy settings on individual sites by going to staysafeonline.org, which is sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance.
Other basic tips include keeping your software on all your devices up to date, using strong and unique passwords and double authentication, avoiding public wi-fi, and backing up your data and keeping it in a safe place.
We have discussed the importance of cybersecurity in the past, but we cannot emphasize enough how vigilant you need to be. We highly encourage you to take the few minutes needed to protect your personal and financial information, not only on January 28, but every day.