Did you know that your home network, and the devices connected to it, can be used to access your personal information? We all enjoy a digital world that offers convenience, new ways to connect with others, and access to new forms of entertainment. But the benefits of a digital world also come with risk of identity theft, invasion of privacy, and money lost due to scams. From TVs and cell phones to computers and security cameras, every connected device is a potential path hackers can use to get their hands on information needed to steal your identity and commit fraud.
To learn more about the importance of defending both your digital privacy and data security right from your home, we recently sat down with Bruce Burroughs, the Chief Technology Officer of AAA Mountain West Group (MWG). Over the next several weeks we’ll share Bruce’s comments and insights to help you learn more about the security risks of online activity, and how to secure your data and protect your privacy.*
Why Privacy Matters
Your data has value to others, which exposes you to risks of privacy encroachments and security breaches:
- Cyber criminals seek to obtain your data, impersonate you, and hack accounts to steal money
- Data collection/profiling companies make money by selling your data
- Companies that make money from ads collect your web browsing data to target their advertising and increase sales
Bruce says, “Be protective of your data and only share what is absolutely necessary for the service or product you are requesting, even when you’re simply browsing the internet. For example, you don’t need to allow website “cookies” that track and store browsing data. You can deny cookies on individual websites and disable them on your computer. Being aware and using extra caution reduces the risk of information falling into the wrong hands in a hack or data breach. It also protects you from having your information misused by companies who may unfairly base decisions upon data you did not willingly provide.”
Why Cyber Security at Home Matters
Criminals are opportunists with only so much time. They will focus on individuals with inadequate security. If you properly secure your network, devices, online accounts, identity, and data, criminals will tend to pass on you and focus on others who have not taken steps to protect themselves.
A cyber security breach can cost you substantial money and time. It can even impact your reputation if the criminal makes your data publicly available. It’s well worth the effort to be informed about risk and secure your privacy and data.
How Did We Get Here?
If you’re curious about how individuals have lost control of privacy and data as the world has evolved digitally, here’s a list of helpful summaries recommended by Bruce to increase your awareness:
- Dr. Carissa Veliz and her book Privacy is Power
- The documentary The Great Hack
- The film The Social Dilemma
Stay tuned for the next article in our series where Bruce will share valuable tips for securing networks and devices to protect your security and privacy, many of which are free to implement.
As an added layer of protection, AAA Identity Champion is a reliable safeguard to provide you with an early warning system if your identity is at risk, while also enabling you to respond effectively if an identity breach happens. The protection is easy to activate, and offered at no cost to AAA members. Learn more about our plans here.
About Bruce Burroughs
Bruce is the Chief Technology Officer at AAA Mountain West Group (MWG). He joined MWG in 2019, bringing more than three decades of information technology and data security experience to AAA.
Before joining AAA, Bruce worked with Fortune 500 companies and Silicon Valley innovators like HP, ArcSight and Symantec, and large customer-focused companies like OppenheimerFunds and Price Waterhouse.
Bruce is a member of Silicon Valley’s CISE group, collaborating with IT and security leaders at some of the nation’s best known brands. He believes that strong technological capabilities are fundamental to creating happy employees and loyal customers, and that collaborating and exchanging ideas with leaders from outside his organization helps sharpen his technology strategy for AAA.