Beat the Privacy Paradox and Take Action to Protect Yourself Online

Facebook has once again made headlines for sharing the personal data of its users with other corporations. The New York Times reported on Sunday that Facebook not only shared data with Cambridge Analytica, but also has maintained data-sharing partnerships with 60 others over the past ten years. These partnerships include Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Blackberry, and Samsung. The information shared included relationship statuses, political leanings, educational histories, religions, and upcoming events. Although Facebook announced that it would no longer share data after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the New York Times reported that most of the data-sharing partnerships are still active.

This brings into perspective the idea of the "privacy paradox". This paradox states that while most people claim to care deeply about online privacy, very few of them take action to protect it. When it first came out that Facebook shared information with Cambridge Analytica, many vowed that they would delete their Facebook accounts, even creating a #DeleteFacebook hashtag. In March of 2018, it was reported that 1.45 billion people log into Facebook daily or are considered active users, so it's safe to assume that the majority didn't delete their Facebook accounts. It is also likely that the majority of users still kept their Credit Karma accounts after the Equifax hack. Why? Because many don't take action to protect their online privacy.

It is necessary to take action to protect your online privacy. Cybercrime targets over 594 million victims per year, with the United States losing $100 billion annually as a result. Businesses, especially those with fewer than 2,500 employees, have become popular targets for cyberattacks, losing $11.7 million on average. It is highly recommended to protect yourself and your business with cybersecurity. I have includeda few tips below to help keep your business safe:

-Regularly test your data security systems and procedures.

-Develop a data breach response plan that includes a communications response plan (how you will notify customers, staff, the media, etc.).

-Obtain cyber liability insurance.

-Contact a professional to handle your cybersecurity. Here at Nutmeg Technologies, we offer businesses a variety of ways to mitigate attacks before they happen. By merging products and services into a range of unified bundles, there is always a solution to fit your business size and needs.

A few tips to keep yourself safe:

-Download an anti-virus to scan your computer and ensure there are no security threats embedded within.

-Never share personal identification, such as a Social Security number, through an online medium.

-Create strong passwords that include uppercase and lowercase letters as well as special characters and numbers.

-Avoid unfamiliar links. Before following a link that is obtained via Email or other means, ensure it is going to where it says/is from a reliable source.

-Shop smart. When checking out online, all the store needs is an address to ship/bill to as well as a payment method.

Don't fall into the privacy paradox. Make online privacy a priority and take action to prevent your information from being exploited. Check out Cybersecurity Tips that Won't Cost your Business for more.