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Data Privacy Day

Since 2008, January 28th each year is known as Data Privacy Day, a day dedicated to educating American consumers about the importance of protecting data, and how to take the steps necessary to have a  safer online presence. 

The event also aims to show businesses and organizations that customer privacy is good business.   

Public Wi-Fi presents numerous online safety challenges.  Read on for some safety tips to help you secure your online presence while on the go.

Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi

Using public wi-fi networks available at hotels, libraries, coffee shops, airports, restaurants, parks and more, can put your devices at risk. Your personal information such as credit card numbers, passwords, or any confidential information that you have on a device is potentially accessible to cyber-criminals with a will.  If you must traffic on a public Wi-Fi network, we offer the following tips to help keep you secure.

How to Stay Safe Using Public Wi-Fi

Use a VPN.  What is a VPN?  VPN stands for Virtual Private Network.  It is a service that routes your Internet connection through a server that encrypts your data.   Because that server is between your computer and the Internet, the websites don’t see you, but rather that VPN server, as the source requesting the connection.   This hides your IP address and helps keep your physical location secure, providing a private and secure online experience​.  This includes the safekeeping of your all-important personal and financial data such as credit cards and online banking accounts.    your anti-virus software offers this additional level of security.

Use two-factor authentication

Add an extra step to your login processes with two-factor authentication to gain an additional layer of security.   What is it?  Two-factor authentication requires to users provide two different authentication factors to verify themselves before being permitted entrance to an account or website.  Supply the traditional password and then add a security token of some kind or fingerprint or facial scan.   The addition of the second requirement makes it more difficult for an unauthorized user to gain access to your device or account. 

Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date

It is hard to imagine anyone nowadays who is unfamiliar with the importance of keeping your software current and internet connected devices safe with anti-virus software.  Fortunately, these updates  can be set to run automatically, making your device/software better functioning and more secure.  These updates may come up at inopportune times,  but we encourage you not to click postpone on that update.   It’s very easy to forget to go back to it later.

Be sure you're using HTTPS

The HTTPS protocol is the secure, encrypted connection to a website.  It is much more secure than http.  When you connect to a site your browser checks its security certificate and verifies that it was issued by an entity with a legitimate security certificate, not an entity that apparently looks like them in the address bar.  In addition to the authorizing agency vouching for them, sending data over an HTTPS connection means your data or your search terms is less likely to be eavesdropped upon.  This security is what makes it possible to do your online shopping and banking safely and securely.

These are just a few recommendations for the online safety challenges we all face.  As we are now more digitally connected than ever in our daily lives, it has become imperative that we continually educate ourselves in order that every day becomes a Data Privacy Day.

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