National Data Privacy Day: Minimizing Your Risks

Robert M. Duplessis, CRISC, CISM, CBVM
Senior Vice President/Information Security Officer

Every January 28, security experts observe National Data Privacy Day, though the reason is far from celebratory. Instead, the day is devoted to raising awareness about the risks of sharing data in daily life. Over the years that awareness has evolved from warnings that using birthdays as PINs is a bit risky to the new reality that the privacy of data—everyone’s data—is under constant attack.

Hacker attacks on computers now launch at a rate of every 39 seconds*. Breaches that result in records being stolen are occurring at a rate of 158,727 per hour*! Worse, the pools of information available to be hacked are increasing, thanks to the growth of the internet of things (IoT).

The New Normal: Data in Motion
You may actively use settings to restrict public access to your social media accounts and practice good self-policing of your personal data. However, every time you shop for books or boots online, ask your voice-activated device a trivia question, stream videos or even send your DNA to a lab to learn about your ancestry, you are giving up valuable data about yourself. And, if you are like most people, you do so without considering the security risks.

IoT attacks were up 600% in 2017.

7 Ways to Play Defense
While it may seem as if society in general has already lost the war on privacy, that doesn’t mean you can’t defend yourself against personal loss. There are tools you can use and actions you can take to keep your data from being turned against you. Here are a few of these.

  1. Know how those you deal with treat your information. Read our privacy policy, along with the policies of any site or service you access, to make sure they are protective of their customers’ data before you give them yours.
  2. Conduct an annual audit of your data. Determine where it is and what each organization you deal with knows about you. Uninstall any old apps—the older they are and the less frequently they are updated, the more vulnerable they are to hacking.More than 75% of the health care industry was infected with malware last year.
  3. Monitor your credit reports. The FDIC recommends visiting www.annualcreditreport.com* or calling 877-322-8228 to acquire a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus. These reports function as early detection systems if someone is trying to borrow your identity.
  4. Be an early filer. Because many security breaches in the retail and health care industries have compromised social security numbers, file your tax return as early as possible, especially if you anticipate a refund. Fraudulent filings delay refunds for months while the IRS straightens things out.Three industries were responsible for 95% of the records stolen in 2016.
  5. Don’t trust, before you verify. Before giving up any information online through an email or text, verify that the person or company asking for it is legit. Hover over the address line to see where the email is really coming from. Verify any phone numbers through an independent online search before calling.71% of cyber attacks begin with phishing emails.
  6. Use tools designed to keep your information safe. Our Trusteer Rapport is security software that protects your online banking communications from being stolen. It works in addition to any antivirus or firewalls and is designed to catch fraud immediately. We also offer Security Manager, an authentication product for businesses or personal customers that generates passcodes via text and works in conjunction with your current security features.Small businesses were the target of 43% of cyber attacks.
  7. Secure you debit card. When you misplace your debit card, use our SecurLOCK™ Equip Mobile App to turn your debit card on and off and monitor spending.

Working Hard to Keep You Safe
It’s unfortunate that every time you touch a screen or pay by phone, credit or debit card you give up some personal information. We are committed to helping you protect your most valued possessions.

Whenever you have any doubts about your bank accounts, visit our FAQ section. Also, feel free to contact us online or call 877-866-0202. We are always happy to talk through your concerns, privately.

  1. Sobers, Rob. “60 Must-Know Cybersecurity Statistics for 2019.” Varonis. Web. January 2, 2019. <https://www.varonis.com/blog/cybersecurity-statistics/*>
  2. “13 Alarming Cyber Security Facts and Stats.” Cybint. Web. December 3, 2018. <https://www.cybintsolutions.com/cyber-security-facts-stats/*>
  3. “13 Alarming Cyber Security Facts and Stats.”
  4. Sobers, Rob. “60 Must-Know Cybersecurity Statistics for 2019.”
  5. “13 Alarming Cyber Security Facts and Stats.”

*This is an outbound link that will take you away from the WordPress blog. Before you go, we want to let you know that you are accessing a resource that includes data not hosted on our website. This service has been provided for your convenience only. It does not imply that Old Second Bank endorses or sponsors the information you will be viewing. We also cannot guarantee its accuracy or that your privacy will be maintained should you choose to disclose any personal information while on the linked site. Also, please be aware that the products and services offered on third-party sites, including investment and insurance products, are not products of Old Second Bank and may not be insured by the FDIC. Thank you and hope to see you back here soon.

National Data Privacy Day: 8 Tips for Keeping Your Personal Information Safe

Robert M. Duplessis, CRISC, CISM, CBVM, Senior Vice President—Information Security Officer 

January 28 is National Data Privacy Day. Its observance serves as a reminder that maintaining the privacy of your personal information is a year-round responsibility.

What’s at Risk

At the heart of the battle for your privacy is your personally identifiable information (PII). PII is any combination of data points that can lead to your identification. The more information a hacker can pull together on you the easier it becomes to obtain more, with the goal being to steal your identity.

This information may include your email address and full name—data readily available online. But, it also includes your:

  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license
  • State identification
  • Financial account numbers
  • Medical information
  • Passwords
  • Address
  • Cellphone number

Companies like ours work diligently to protect your privacy and your data. We only collect the information we need to do business with you. We safely dispose of personal information when it is no longer needed. Unless required by law, we do not share your information without your permission or knowledge. (For more on Old Second’s privacy policies, click here.)

Every website, health care provider, insurance and financial company you deal with should have a similar policy. If they don’t or there is something about their policy that makes you uneasy, you should consider doing business elsewhere. However, it isn’t just businesses that collect data you need to be concerned about.

What You Can Do

Protecting your privacy is a shared responsibility. Every time you share your dog’s name or your child’s photo on Facebook, post vacation photos on Instagram or update your new job title on LinkedIn, you are adding to what hackers can find out about you and those you tag. Consider what Alexa and Google Home know! Then, consider how much information would be needed to start guessing your passwords.

The reality is that none of us will stop posting, sharing or using products that enhance our daily lives. What we can do, however, is take some precautions before we do. Here are some things to consider adding to your regular routine that can help safeguard your PII and that of your family members and friends.

  1. Revisit your social media settings. Make sure you know who you are sharing information with and whether you really want to. Also consider living less “in the moment.” Share photos and locations after you’ve left them.
  2. Tag only with permission. Not everyone wants their location and activities broadcast or their children’s names made public. Be respectful of the privacy of others.
  3. Manage your passwords. Change them regularly and refrain from using one to access everything. Many companies and services now use double authentication options. Consider opting into them.
  4. Monitor your credit reports. Whether your information was involved in a data breach or not, take advantage of your ability to order a report for free from each of the three reporting agencies each year. A credit-monitoring service, while an added expense, also may be warranted if your information was hacked, since hackers do not necessarily use your information right away. They may sit on it until your free year of monitoring is up.
  5. Keep your software and apps current. Updates and patches are intended to address vulnerabilities in the system. Also, uninstall apps and programs you no longer use. Hackers could use them as back doors into your system.
  6. Check your credit and debit card charges regularly. As soon as you see something odd, call your card issuer and cancel your card. Replacement cards arrive within days.
  7. Use caller ID. Every piece of information, including your voice, is fodder for scammers. If someone calls you and you don’t recognize the number or the caller’s name, do not feel compelled to pick up. Often, by entering the number in a Google search, you can confirm it was a fraudulent call.
  8. Refrain from clicking through links in emails. While legitimate companies provide links for convenience, you are better off signing onto your online account the way you typically do, just to be safe, or calling the customer service number you have on file for them.

For more tips and information on keeping your personal information safe, we maintain a variety of resources on our website. Also, feel free to call 877-866-0202 . We are always happy to talk through your concerns, privately.