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Home > News > Press Releases > Attorney General William Schneider Urges Maine Consumers to Guard Themselves Against Internet Snoops
Attorney General William Schneider Urges Maine Consumers to Guard Themselves Against Internet Snoops
January 28, 2011
Data Privacy Day brings together businesses, individuals, government agencies, nonprofit groups and academics to spotlight how personal data is collected, used and stored.
AUGUSTA – Despite warnings, many computer users unknowingly leave themselves vulnerable to financial fraud or privacy invasions. In recognition of Data Privacy Day, Attorney General William Schneider today reminded Maine residents to protect their personal information by checking the privacy settings on social Web sites and using secured networks.
Attorney General Schneider warns consumers to use common sense. “If you post vacation updates on an open site, you're telling the world – and possibly a burglar – that your home is vacant. There’s also your reputation to consider – it is becoming more common for human resources professionals to reject job candidates based on inappropriate and personally damaging information discovered online."
Here are three steps you can take now to help ensure that you don’t unintentionally compromise your personal information:
Read the instructions that come with your wireless router to determine how to turn on the encryption feature. Two main types of encryption are available: WiFi Protected Access (WPA) and Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). Your computer, router, and other equipment must use the same encryption. WPA2 is strongest; use it if you have a choice.
Change your router’s hardware identifier and preset password so a hacker can’t use the defaults to try to access your network.
Of course, you should also use anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a firewall. For help configuring your router, visit www.onguardonline.gov/topics/wireless-security.aspx.
Cafe, hotel and airport “hot spots” are convenient, but you must assume that other people can see anything you see or send over a public wireless network.
Data Privacy Day site: www.dataprivacyday2011.org
Facebook’s privacy guide: www.facebook.com/privacy
The Online Trust Alliance’s updated planning guide to help businesses protect data and prepare for potential breaches: https://otalliance.org/resources/Incident.html
CONTACT: Martha Demeritt (207) 626-8599 firstname.lastname@example.org
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