Personal Data: Enjoy May Without a MayDay!

data protectionFrom identity theft to viruses to online scams, our personal digital data is under constant attack. Yes, the truly sophisticated intrusions may be aimed at retailers and other businesses with massive data bases. (Like Willie Sutton, hackers go where the money is.) Yet there are also digital cousins of local thieves or vandals who have learned to go where the entry is easiest. For a residential thief, it may be the open window or unlocked door. For a digital thief, it’s the unprotected computer or unsecured wireless network.

Davis Dyer Max reminds you that there is also good news: You can learn the lessons of past residential crimes. Experts will tell you that you can lower your chance of being burglarized simply by securing windows and entryways, while adding deadbolts, window locks and exterior lighting.

In other words, the best prevention may also be the simplest. What are the digital equivalents of the above crime prevention steps?

  • Install and regularly update anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
  • Install and activate firewalls on your personal computers and network.
  • Keep your operating system updated with the latest security patches.
  • Activate the security protocols available for your home network.
  • Use effective passwords and update them regularly. Train your family members to do the same.

While these steps typically are directed at protecting data on your personal computer, each has its equivalent for any personal computing device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Just as locking the front door will do little to prevent wrongful entry if the windows are left open, it is equally ineffective to lock down your desktop or laptop computer while ignoring the need to protect your data with passwords on your smartphone and tablet.

Computer and digital device manufacturers are always striving to improve their products’ resistance to outside breaking and entering. Yet there may still come a time when all of their and your best prevention efforts fail. For that reason you should also consider adding identity theft or similar coverage to your personal insurance protection program. We’d be happy to provide you with your coverage options, answers to your protection questions and current pricing.

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