CEO Report: How to Protect Your Personal Data!
April 17th, 2017
By Jeff Petersen, CEO
We have all been there. We wake up in the morning, and spend five minutes or so quickly and efficiently reviewing our e-mails, of which is followed by deleting the numerous ones that are annoying at best. When we are done, we take our first cut at the ones that appear genuine and therefore deserve our attention. We click on the link that would normally look out of place, but we thought it might be a message about a refund from a cancelled order from the prior week …oh no! Our heart begins to race, hands shake, and our mind goes into problem solving mode. What now?!
Let’s take a deep breath and back up. Protecting our personal data is becoming an almost impossible task. While anti-virus software is an important component of proper cyber security “hygiene”, it is not enough given the level of threats we currently face. There are several forms of malware (from the word “malicious software”. They take on names such as adware, bots, bugs, spyware, Trojan horses, viruses, worms and more. Anti-virus software may prevent some or all of these forms of malware from infecting your computers, tablets and/or phones, but additional steps should be taken to increase your level of protection.
During the month of March, I enrolled and successfully completed the CERT Certificate in Cybersecurity Oversight. It is a cooperative effort of the National Association of Corporate Directors, Ridge Global, and the CERT division of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. While this program does not make participants an expert in cybersecurity, it provides a roadmap for organizations to best provide oversight of a cybersecurity program. While we take our oversight role seriously at Petersen Hastings, cyber criminals that target an organization may be sophisticated beyond tools available for protection. Therefore, it is important for all stakeholders to follow proper cyber security hygiene to potentially limit the impact of a threat or combination of threats. Clients should also follow our 11 basic steps to improve the probability of avoiding malware and other common threats.
As mentioned in tip #6, Petersen Hastings is teaming up with CI Shred to host a free “Shred Day” event to promote safe destruction of personal information. Stop by our business (8203 W. Quinault Ave. Kennewick, WA 99336) Friday, April 28th from 11:00 AM to 1:00PM to safely clean out the filing cabinet.
Protecting your information is very important at Petersen Hastings. We hope these basic tips are helpful in avoiding malware and other common threats.
April is “Financial Awareness Month”. Being financially independent involves creating and retaining enough wealth to maintain a desired quality of life, both before and during retirement. It also involves protecting your wealth from possible criminal activity.