With so much in the news about hackers, online scamming ventures and identity theft, anyone who’s ever entered a credit card number, password or security code into an online dynamic knows all too well the sense of dread that washes over you know knowing your privacy and financial livelihood has just been handed over to a virtual entity that we can’t see, touch or hear.
It always fees more like a gamble than a transaction right? Even when we’re quite confident our transactions are safe, let’s be honest, there are thousands of brilliant computer hacks who can make these security measures seem like child’s play.
While there are no shortage of tips and ideas to keep yourself protected as much as possible, the fact is, nothing’s guaranteed. The 2012 Data Privacy Day was founded as a way for consumers and businesses to team up against those unseen threats in hopes of getting a step ahead of the fraudsters that are on every online corner.
The National Cyber Security Alliance is a non-profit public-private partnership designed to bring awareness to all on matters such as cyber security and data privacy – including those issues related to keeping your credit cards and other financial information safe. Its annual event on these matters is slated for January 28 2012 and its list of supporters continues to grow and now includes various government entities, banks and of course, credit card companies.
With a particular focus on how consumers’ can better control how their information is collected, shared and stored online, there’s no doubt the there are lessons to be learned in this invaluable event. It will take place both domestically and internationally. Partners of the seminar, including MasterCard and Microsoft seek to highlight the relevance of data privacy in our always-on society. As the website states:
Data Privacy Day promotes awareness about the many ways personal information is collected, stored, used, and shared, and education about privacy practices that will enable individuals to protect their personal information.
For instance, most consumers know that tracking cookies are just part of the online experience, but did you know there are new location based technologies that leave you extremely vulnerable? It might be your smart phone that’s the weakest link or it could be other behavioral tracking efforts – you can be sure, though, the technology already exists and fraudsters are putting it into play as fast as they can.
Executive Director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, Michael Kaiser, said,
NCSA is very excited to see widespread support for Data Privacy Day 2012 throughout industry, government, businesses, and communities around the world,… everyday our lives become more reliant on the Internet and the goal behind Data Privacy Day is to educate digital citizens on how to protect their personal information online…
Efforts in Place
Many credit card companies already go to great lengths to ensure consumer safety and when a customer’s information has been compromised, the major card networks usually offer a zero liability policy, such as what American Express offers. Visa also offers the same policy and provides purchase protection and even an extended warranty when a deal is anything but and you pay for it with your Visa. Discover and MasterCard’s policies are comparable, too.
Not only that, but there are also laws in place that protect consumers as well as watch groups, such as the Federal Trade Commission, that remains vigilant in its efforts of identifying potential threats before the damage is done.
Finally, the group offers many resources for financial education opportunities. Whether it’s information consumers can use to ensure they’re getting the best APR on their credit cards or information on how to report suspected fraud, the National Cyber Security Alliance is there for consumers as the digital presence continues to expand in every sector and in every nation.
Data Privacy Month
January is Data Privacy Month and it’s a great time to make sure all possible vulnerabilities are closed in your own financial portfolio. This might mean incorporating stronger passwords or deleting all the cookies in your internet history folder. Rest assured those small things you do can prevent a major headache next time you go to use your Visa or MasterCard only to realize it’s been maxed out by some sly hack 4,000 miles away.