Are You Doing Enough to Protect Your Privacy Online?

With data breaches reaching an all-time high in 2016—1,093 breaches, up 40% from 2015—protecting our privacy and our personal information becomes an essential task for all of us to undertake. Since this week is Privacy Awareness Week, your BBB® would like to share tips for consumers to prevent their personal and financial information from falling into the hands of identity thieves.

Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) was started in 2006 by the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) to raise awareness of the importance of protecting personal information. Many countries, including the USA’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC), participate. The theme for 2017 is “Share with Care.”

Here are some tips on protecting your privacy from the BBB and the FTC:

Computer Security Tips

  • Use security software that updates automatically, and also set your operating system and web browser to update automatically.
  • Use a firewall and be sure and change the default password to one that you create.
  • Avoid clicking on pop-up messages or email links and attachments from unknown sources.
  • Don’t give out your personal information unless you are sure the request is legitimate. Identity thieves can use credit card, bank account, and utility account numbers to steal your money or open new accounts in your name.
  • Don’t share too much information on social media.
  • Before ordering online, research the company. Search for the company profile on Type the company name followed by the word “review” or “complaint” or “scam” in a search engine and read what others are saying about the company.
  • Only order from online sites that use encryption to protect your information. Look for https at the beginning of the web address and on every page of the site.
  • Use strong passwords that are at least 10 characters and mix letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Use a different password for each account.
  • Don’t share passwords on the phone, in texts or emails.
  • Keep your passwords in a secure place, out of sight.
  • Back up your files to a removable disc or an external hard drive.
  • Inform yourself about the latest scams. You can sign up for Scam Alerts on from BBB at

Router and IP Camera Security Tips

Internet of Things (IoT) Security Tips

Connected Cars

We hope these tips will help you have a safe computing experience in this world of ever-increasing interconnectedness.

For more information you can trust, visit

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About Jackie 246 Articles
Jackie is the Operations and Education Foundation Assistant with the BBB. She assists consumers with business inquiries, and does presentations to senior groups and high school students. She is a regular contributor to the blog.

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