It's 2012: Do you know all of the places where your personal information lives? Apparently Zappos doesn't and neither do a host of other businesses, as reported in the news on an almost daily basis. Businesses are overwhelmed by how much information they collect, and get into trouble because they don't know what data they actually have, where it's coming from, or where it's going, and hang on to it longer than they should. What's more, as in the case of Facebook, they're not always doing what their privacy policies say they are.
While many people claim they care about their online privacy, our share-it-whenever-wherever mentality seems to evidence otherwise. Judging by consumers' increased use of anti-tracking software, their concerns seem to be more about keeping their online behavior a secret than actively protecting the vast amount of business, financial and personal data that is shared and stored online.
That is until something happens. You'd be surprised how many businesses wait for a data breach before really dealing with your privacy and security. Here are five ways to avoid the most common mistakes:
While there is no silver bullet to guarantee that your online information will be 100 percent secure, you can learn from the mistakes that have a habit of repeating themselves. A few simple changes in how you handle your online activities and personal technology can have a huge impact in safeguarding your life on the Internet. Now more than ever, in the absence of any real solutions to cybercrime, it's up to the public to take this responsibility into their own hands.
This Friday, Jan. 28, which the National Cyber Security Alliance has designated Data Privacy Day 2012, to "promote the importance of data privacy and encourage digital citizens to exercise closer control over how their personal information is collected, shared, and stored online," would be a good time to start.