I, along with 24 million other Zappos customers, got an email yesterday noting that my personal information may have been compromised by hackers. These large-scale online data security breaches seem to be increasingly common. These breaches underscore the fact that we all need to be vigilant and pro-active when it comes to what information we are willing to share in the online space, who we share our personal information with, and what security measures we trust. This breach has really caused me to reflect on just how much of my personal information is out there on the internet—there’s Zappos, Amazon, Target, and different Etsy sellers I’ve bought stuff from.
All my banks hold my information online as do some of my doctor’s offices who keep online records. In this increasingly connected world, are we making ourselves vulnerable to data hacks? So much of our time is focused on offline security (we are a safe and vault store after all), but it’s important to remember that there are certain precautions that we must take online as well. I’ve compiled a few helpful if commonsense, hints to help make sure you aren’t the victim of an online attack.
1) Remember who you’ve shared your information with – and be selective about sharing.
2) Don’t store your credit card information online, even with online sellers that you trust.
3) Don’t put more information out there than required. Keep your Social Security Number to yourself, consider using only one credit card for online purchases
4) Make sure you only make purchases with sellers who take security measures – VeriSign is one of these online security companies that many sellers use.
5) Use your head—if a situation feels uncomfortable, go with your gut.