Posts tagged "Expert"
When you log onto the Verizon Precision Market Insights website, the giant catch phrase that jumps out at you in bold red letters is:
“Know your audience more precisely.
Drive your business more effectively.”
Verizon is pulling no punches when it comes to letting advertisers know that they have valuable data- OUR data- and they’re willing to share it. For a price of course. Phone carriers, who see a continued decline in contract subscriber growth and voice calls, are hoping to generate new sources of revenue by selling the data they collect about us. They already collect information about user location and Web surfing and application use (which informs them about such things as travels, interests and demographics) to adjust their networks to handle traffic better. Now they have begun to sell this data.
Do you value national security? Do you want to live free of fear from random terrorist acts like the Boston Marathon bombing? Do you value your privacy? Should you be allowed to act in legal ways without others (namely, the government) digitally eavesdropping on your secrets?
A former data spy is asking us to decide where we stand on the spectrum separating security and privacy. Edward Snowden, 29, a former contractor to the National Security Agency (the guys and gals in charge of wire-tapping phones and internet traffic) and an employee of the CIA, leaked classified documents to reporters about two far-reaching U.S. surveillance programs. Fearing government reprisal, Snowden is hiding in Hong Kong, a country he believes has “a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent”.
I finally got around to watching the latest 007 installment, Skyfall, and it appears even James Bond has entered into the world of Cyber Crime as he tries to protect a computer drive with a list of British agents from falling into the wrong hands. And like the proverbial victims in a James Bond flick, you and your business data are under assault, even though it may not always be as obvious as getting thrown off a train. Why? Because your business data is profitable to would-be thieves. And for many of those thieves, that data is easy to get and the theft can be next to impossible to trace.
Sony PlayStation Network, Citigroup, Lockheed and several others have seen more than 100 million customer records breached, costing billions in recovery costs and reputation damage. If it can happen to the big boys, it can happen to you. If you don’t have Bond on your side fighting off the villains, take these steps to take to secure your business data:
Stop falling for IRS and tax ID theft scams.
Because we are distracted during tax season, we are primed to be socially engineered or manipulated by tax scams and can end up becoming the victim of tax ID theft. Here’s how to combat the problem:
- When someone asks for your SSN, TIN or other ID, refuse until you verify their legitimacy.
- If someone promises to drastically reduce your tax bill or speed up your tax return, suspect fraud and tax ID theft.
- If anyone asks you for information in order to send you your check, they are scamming for your identity. The IRS already knows where you live (and where to send your refund).
- Know that the IRS will NEVER email you for any reason. The IRS emphasizes that it doesn’t “initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.” This includes “any type of electronic communications, such as text messages and social-media channels.”
Secure your computers and copy machines from hackers.
Last year, more than 80 million Americans filed their tax returns electronically and even more stored tax-related information insecurely on their computers. To prevent electronic identity theft, implement the following security measures:
- Install anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-spyware software (generally referred to as a Security Suite) configured to download and install automatic updates. Failure to take this most basic and time-tested of steps allows malware attached to malicious emails, social media platforms and rogue websites to penetrate your entire system, giving thieves access to every computer on your network, not just one.
- Create strong alphanumeric passwords or utilize password protection software to protect the digital keys to your information.
- Encrypt hard drives or data-sensitive folders to keep out unwanted visitors.
- Set up automatic operating system updates and security patches that close gaping entry points for data thieves.