Saturday, January 19, 2008

Protecting Your Data in an Insecure World

We have all heard those horror stories about large companies, from banks and insurance companies to credit card processing firms, losing track of tons of customer data, putting themselves and their customers at risk. While these incidents certainly capture the headlines, the truth is that data loss is a risk for every computer user, not only for those large companies. Anyone who uses a computer is at risk for data loss, and that loss of personal data can be just as devastating to the individual as to the corporation. It is important therefore for every person who uses a computer to take the steps necessary to protect their important data from loss or theft. One of the first lines of data defense is a strong virus protection program. There are many virus protection programs on the market, and most do an excellent job at protecting computers from both established and emerging threats to your personal data. In addition, a good anti-spyware program, combined with virus protection, is a great way to make sure your personal data stays that way. Learning to avoid phishing scams and similar email swindles is another important part of personal data protection. There are many unscrupulous individuals and organizations out there seeking to steal personal data by pretending to be banks, online auction houses and other legitimate businesses. If you receive an email asking for personal data, even if it seems legitimate, it is a good idea to verify its authenticity with the company claiming to have sent it, and never to click on the link within the email until you are sure your data is safe. With so much personal data stored on computers around the world these days, the challenges to the safety of that data are only expected to grow. It is important therefore to pay attention to data protection, and to take data protection seriously. Protecting your personal data from theft starts with your own common sense and vigilance. Protecting personal data means many things to many different people. To the business executive, protecting the important personal information of employees, customers and others is a vital business interest, and companies have been sued for millions of dollars for losing track of that vital personal information. On the consumer level, loss and theft of personal data is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world, and it is important for everyone, from corporate CEO to individual consumer, to protect themselves in an insecure world. For more information on data go to

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