By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This is Data Privacy Day, so named by an Internet security group to get us to take a close look at what personal information we put online and how safe it is.
“The data you share is massive in quantity. What are you doing to protect that?” Asks Mark McCreary, a data security attorney at Fox Rothschild in Philadelphia.
Just last week, the shoe e-tailer Zappos revealed that hackers stole the personal information of millions of customers (see related story).
McCreary says that just scratches the surface, “We have a generation growing up that is so used to sharing data with no resistance whatsoever that it’s just leading down a bad path.”
While companies could do more with data encryption, McCreary says you can take relatively simple steps to trip up ID thieves, “Using disposable e-mail addresses, which are easily available, where you only use it for a specific site. Use different passwords.”
McCreary says you are at high risk if you have the same login for every website. “If I use the same password for my e-mail account at Google as I use for my bank account — once one gets released, the other is easily available. For someone to get into your personal e-mail, you’d be shocked at the amount of information that can be gleaned from that.”
He suggests developing your own password sets that perhaps combine a memorable feature of each online business with a personal element you won’t forget. And he adds, always password-lock your mobile devices, because they can be a goldmine if they fall into the wrong hands.