Do you ever log onto Facebook and the first thing you see is an advertisement for a pair of shoes you just were looking up the night before? Fellas? We all know you were eyeing up those new pumps (Christian Louboutin…?). Well the reason is, social media and many online companies are collecting data on everything you view. The data that from your device is then analyzed by companies like Google and then sent back to your device giving you information that is relevant to what you were just looking for. Google’s whole business model is to provide you with the most accurate information in the quickest amount of time.
This is insane! I mean, you don’t even have to type “Blingy 4 inch heels for wedding” into Google anymore without it already having advertisements for those shoes on your facebook timeline. The data and analytics that is being processed every second is astounding. So with that all being said, this is all very cool, but how do we keep ourselves protected from people who want to use that information against us online.
Many banking and online payment websites have added security measures to make sure it is indeed you logging into the website to make a payment or transfer. They also have guarantees that if you are hacked or someone accesses your account, that they will refund your money. So please contact your banking institution for their information on these types of scenarios.
For businesses who store data and privacy information on their computers at work, you need to make sure you are taking similar precautions. Having proper internet security software on your servers and computers is crucial. This software can be frustrating at times, as they can hold up day to day operations to keep added security in place. So talk to you IT analyst and make sure your software is going to be compatible with the security provider.
Next, you want to keep everything backed up, preferably off-site. What does this mean? You can do a few things. Some people manually backup their information onto a hard drive or USB flash drive daily and take it home with them. Others have IT departments that can backup information online in their database overnight. Either of these options are good as long as you’re able to restore your data in a quick and efficient manner if an attack or crash were to occur. You don’t want your business to be disrupted for too long. Having these measures in place beforehand will save you a huge headache in the future.
One more thing you can do, is purchase a cyber insurance policy. Many companies are offering added cyber security endorsements onto business policies to help protect people/businesses from these types of risks. These policies include coverages such as:
- Coverage for cyber liability if your computers are hacked or a virus attacks your system causing personal or financial information to be leaked and someone brings action against you for the leaked information.
- Payment of the costs to repair your systems if they are damaged and any losses of revenue you may suffer as a result of this damage
- Coverage for data held ‘in the cloud’
- Coverage for regulatory actions or investigations as a result of a privacy breach
- Coverage for threats and extortion conducted online
- Data Recovery Coverage
The internet is one the most amazing inventions of our generation. However, like anything we must treat it with respect and take precautions when working with it. Identity theft, viruses, hackings, malware emails all happen on a daily basis. We don’t want this to happen to you, so hopefully this information can help you prepare ahead of time for when these situations arise.