Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
January 28, 2013
Media Contact: Molly McFarland
Phone: (850) 245-0150
Attorney General Bondi Recognizes Data Privacy Day and Encourages Floridians to Protect Their Personal Information
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–In recognition of Data Privacy Day, Attorney General Pam Bondi encourages people to protect their personal information and control their digital footprints.
“By protecting personal information, Floridians can help safeguard themselves from identification theft and fraud,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Two common ways that identity theft takes place are “phishing” and peer-to-peer file sharing. “Phishing” occurs when a third party pretends to be a reputable contact and convinces consumers to provide their personal identification information, which usually leads to identity theft. Peer-to-peer file sharing, which is sharing music, pictures, and videos with peers, can lead to identity theft because users could unknowingly be downloading malware or spyware that allows identity thieves to obtain personal information.
Consumers can follow the tips below to protect personal information:
· Protect your passwords—they should be at least 10-12 characters and should contain a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using your name, birth date, or common terms, and refrain from using the same password across multiple accounts;
The Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office is the enforcement authority for all multi-circuit violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The Division investigates and litigates illegal activities such as fraud, theft, and misleading advertising.
· Keep your browser up-to-date. Out-of-date browsers can leave your computer vulnerable to attack;
· Use privacy settings on your browser;
· Install reputable security software, such anti-virus and anti-spyware protection, as well as a firewall;
· Download and install software only from websites you know and trust;
· Do not click on attachments in emails unless it is from someone you know and trust;
· Use a pop-up blocker, and do not click on links within pop-ups;
· Back-up data regularly. This will keep your data safe in case your computer crashes; and
· Read privacy policies of websites you visit to learn what personal data is being collected, who it is collected by, and how it is being used.
If you believe your personal online data has been compromised, please contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office.