Why Are Companies Changing Their Privacy Policies?

Not Your Average Email Communication 

It’s not uncommon to receive emails from a company, especially if you are a frequent customer or client. But when multiple businesses inform you of privacy policy changes at the same time, it can often mean something bigger is happening behind-the-scenes. 

The European Union (EU) made recent changes to its data privacy regulations (the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR) that went into effect on May 25, 2018. These regulations mandate that companies clearly communicate how and why they are collecting consumer data. 

While these regulations directly impact European businesses and consumers, they are still relevant to those of us in the U.S. that utilize international services such as social media, smartphone apps and more. Let’s walk through some common questions about these new data regulations, and what they mean for Americans. 

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Lessons Learned From Data Breaches in 2017

Same Problem, Different Landscape

Reading about data breaches on paper never does the concept justice. Hearing that data breaches in 2017 were – and continue to be – “big problems” for all types of organizations can desensitize us to the true implications of a data breach event. 

The inevitability of data breaches can leave companies feeling defeated, and the monetary losses tied to these security incidents only adds to the damages. Throw in the thought of unhappy complaints from customers or clients about protecting their sensitive information, dealing with the legal consequences and hits to your business’ public reputation – and you’ve got yourself a perfect data breach storm.

The truth is that a data breach will impact more than just the business itself. It affects customers, clients, employees and vendors too. Let’s review some of the data breaches that occurred in 2017, see what we can learn from the mistakes that were made and improve overall data breach prevention and response in the new year. Continue reading

New Breach Sparks Concern Over Social Engineering

Social Engineering Expected to Increase 

A recent data breach affecting 123 million American households speaks to the expected increase in social engineering scams of those impacted by the breach. 

California-based data service company Alteryx recently experienced a data breach that exposed some PII elements (address, phone number, longitude/latitude coordinates). However, the data exposed is even more troubling because it was paired with extensive analytics on consumer behaviors, interests and financial/spending habits. The 36 GB file focused mostly on consumer behavioral segments – 248 to be exact – like “Book Buyer,” “Religious Contributor,” “Phone Activity Date” and “Interest in Gourmet Cooking.”    Continue reading

Facebook’s Unsung Privacy Settings

Privacy Settings and Tools Provide Secure Social Media Experience

Facebook has gone from a social media hub to a world-renowned community. It’s a place to post day-to-day activities, connect with old friends and comment on photos and videos shared between one another. Whether you use Facebook to watch your granddaughter grow up through picture and video posts, discuss politics through status updates and articles or scroll through the news feed to find out more about the latest scandal, all of us have one thing in common: our personal information resides in Facebook’s servers. Continue reading