We’ve heard lots and lots about data breaches in the last decade. And with the term “cloud” becoming more prevalent (which, incidentally, just refers to a computer server connected to the internet), people are asking how secure their data is on the various websites they agree to host it.
For example, online banking, online backup, social media, email and the various free services you may subscribe to are cloud-based and house lots of personal information. But are they secure? The answer is, “It depends.”
For example, BillGuard utilizes bank-level 256-bit AES encryption (the same level of encryption approved by the National Security Agency for storing top-secret data) for all communications and data processing; it also is performed on servers isolated from direct access to the Internet. (That additional level of security is also very important.) BillGuard’s systems are monitored by its own security staff 24/7 and audited daily by VeriSign and McAfee Secure, and a company called Security Art performs regular penetration testing to preemptively ward off data intrusion.
Furthermore, BillGuard does not store your credit/debit card account login credentials or ask for any personally identifiable information beyond an email address (for alerts) and your zip code. Not storing your data is good too.
Chances are, your bank uses the same level of security too. Deciding if you should give up your data depends on the potential risk and return. Do you give your credit card number to a waitress for a burger? You probably shouldn’t, but you do. Do you give your Social Security number to an insurance agent for identification on your policy? We pretty much have to hand over our data for services, and if you want to protect the data, we really should hand it over to companies that are in the business of protecting it—as long as they are responsible with it.
So when deciding to “give it up,” I say you should see what security measures these parties have in place and then decide. I’m sure your waitress has it all covered, anyway.J
Robert Siciliano is a personal security expert & adviser to BillGuard and is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- Monitoring Grey Charges Can Save You Hundreds
I use Grammarly’s online english grammar check because Grammarly watches writers backs like a bodyguard. Anyway….. Grey charges—deceptive and unwanted credit and debit card charges that occur as a result of misleading sales and billing practices—total more than US$14 billion per year among US debit and credit cardholders. The prevalence of grey charges among a randomly selected surveyed set of
- 10 Tips to Keep Your Data Private Online
The Internet has become an essential tool for most of us and a part of our everyday lives. We rely on it to send/receive emails, post/share photos and messages on social networking sites, shop for clothes, search for information, etc. But how do all these online activities affect your privacy? Your online privacy depends on your
- BillGuard is Personal Finance Security
If I had a dime for every time I’ve been asked, “How do I protect my credit card number?” I’d be living on my own island in the Pacific. My response has always been, “Use your card whenever and wherever and don’t worry about it, but pay close attention to your statements,” because that’s really all you
- Is Email Encryption Right for Your Business?
The Privacy Rights Clearing house currently tallies 542,608,451 records breached in the past 5 years. Unsecure email certainly contributes to the problem. Small business email (or any email) starts off on a secure or unsecure wired or wireless network then travels over numerous networks through secure or unsecure email servers often vulnerable to people who
- How Secure is My Mobile Carrier’s Network?
The National Security Agency (NSA) prescribes security regulations covering operating practices, including the transmission, handling and distribution of signals intelligence (internet, phone, etc.) and communications security material under control of the NSA’s director. The NSA acts as the national manager for national security and answers to the secretary of defense and the director of national
One Response to “Should I Give Them My Data?”
[…] Weâve heard lots and lots about data breaches in the last decade. And with the term âcloudâ becoming more prevalent (which, incidentally, just refers to a computer server connected to the internet), people are asking how secure their data is on the various websites they agree to host it. http://robertsiciliano.com/blog/2013/02/21/should-i-give-them-my-data/ […]
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.