Do you know who you’ve shared data with?

Do you know where it is with those organizations?

Do you read the fine print that we all accept?

Do you stop to think with whom you, (yes, it is your choice), choose to share data with?

These are all important questions to ask yourself in today’s data driven world. 

Twice now in the past 16 months, large corporations like Marriott have proven that we should be careful when sharing our private data, and it’s not only Marriot we should be concerned about. The list is long.

SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

Who do you have your data with?  It’s important to verify who you have your data with. First ask yourself, how much data do I “have” as well as who and what am I currently sharing it with. Here are a few questions and tips to get you started below.

Do you use multiple email accounts?  The majority of us despise all the “unimportant” emails we receive, mostly because it can take what feels like forever to stop those, even with opt-out capabilities. Because of it’s nuisance and security risks, we recommend choosing to have multiple email accounts and / or platforms, making everything separate from your “true data” life as possible. By using these multiple email accounts and platforms, having more control and say it what we allow outbound data for.

Do you have and set calendar reminders?  Each of us lives by a calendar at work and the majority of us also have a personal calendars dedicated to family, personal, and organization commitments. You’ve blocked off time to facilitate or complete projects, tasks or discussions, and scheduling to clean up your personal information as well as changing your passwords is equally as important of a commitment! Place reminders on your calendar to change passwords monthly and quarterly. Schedule quarterly and semi-annual cleanups of sites and places that have your personal info, delete those that you no longer use, or truly need.

“Free” WIFI is propagated literally everywhere it seems, do you stop to think about WHERE you are attaching to WIFI?

If you think WIFI is “free” in certain places, think again… When you log on you not only agree to the hosts terms, you ultimately share your IP address, as well as any information or data you share while using it. Not only are you likely to be retargeted for ads, you increase your chances to be potentially exposed to hackers or a personal data security breach.

Choose data connections wisely:  Most carriers now offer unlimited data, along with the faster data connections. It has changed the capabilities, ways and speed at which we can interact with our data. With these added abilities, it’s important to STOP and THINK – do I really NEED to connect to an unsecured WIFI connection?” If it’s not an emergency it’s best and safest for the sake of your data and information to wait until you’re able to safely and securely connect.

WHY ARE YOU TRUSTING ANY ORGANIZATION WITH YOUR DATA?

REALLY think about this article. As simple as the conversations you probably have asking people you interact with, “can you or do you trust the government (subjectively in general, not from a data integrity perspective)?” Most people would smirk, laugh, and / or shrug and say “NO!” (potentially with an expletive preceding)!!

So that begs the question: why are you trusting any organization with your data?  Once you provide this data to them you have now passed the baton to those organizations to have access to your data security! 

Yet another question: How have organizations proven that they are capable of this monumental task?  Remember whose data it is they have access to…it’s YOURS!! Our Director, Business Development, Seth Marsh, shares a personal story to help understand this concept:

“With my children, as they matured in age, when they came to me and asked, “Have you seen, or do you know where my shoes, phone, toy, whatever is?”, well they very quickly learned what my response would be. Whose shoes, phone, toy or whatever does it belong to? It wasn’t my responsibility to know where the item is that they were looking for. The same exact scenario applies today at an even higher expectation for you and your data! It is YOUR job to track, stay on top of, and protect your data.”

Quite literally, we read about a significant data breach nearly every day, especially from major companies…… So, at McCracken we suggest as the old saying that was brought to us as children for fire safety states… Stop, Drop and Roll! We suggest changing it when it comes to how, where and with who you share your data with to STOP, THINK and SHOULD I?  

As we progress forward in our continual migration to becoming a fully digital society, it’s more important than ever to safeguard your personal information and by taking the steps above you should be a step ahead in doing that. Here at McCracken we’re committed to providing IT Solutions to help protect data security. Contact us to find out how we can help you and your organization, and discover why we’re considered THE trusted IT partner for over 20 years.