Data Privacy Day is January 28th!

Eight Data Privacy Tips
January 27, 2017

As part of this year’s Data Privacy Day, Better Business Bureau serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties is raising awareness on the importance of data privacy and protection by providing steps to help you shield your information.

Robert Anderson, an Orange County resident, received an error message when visiting a website on his new computer.  The notification indicated that his computer had been breached and infected with a virus, instructing him to call the phone number below the message. 

“When I dialed, the man who picked up said he was an agent for Microsoft and asked me to provide him with access to my computer, which I did” stated Robert.  “While controlling the screen, he opened up a couple of windows and said I had a lot of viruses and he could only get rid of a few.  He then said he could take care of the rest if I bought their antivirus protection product, which I could only buy using my bank account information because he couldn’t take a credit card.”

Robert refused.  It is unknown whether the individual on the phone was, in fact, an agent with Microsoft or someone using deceptive advertising techniques. “We want to encourage consumers to adopt the necessary tactics to keep their information secure, whether that’s on their computer, mobile and tablet devices” asserted Sheryl Reichert, President and CEO of the BBB. 

In hopes of promoting safe and secure online practices on the Web, Better Business Bureau has provided these 8 tips for consumers:

  1. Update operating systems regularly – Having the latest operating system is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.

  2. Encrypt all drives, folders and files – Encryption allows the data you’re relaying via the Web to be unreadable by non-intended recipients. 

  3. Use a swipe pattern, password or pin – Locking your mobile devices will block thieves and cyber criminals from your information if the device is lost or stolen.

  4. Monitor activity on your online accounts – Attentively tracking your account activity is the quickest way to identify a compromise.

  5. Decide what is wise to share on social media – Simply put, your full name, date of birth, hometown and school locations can be used to steal your identity.

  6. Install antivirus software on your computer – Running virus scans periodically will block malware from infecting your computer.

  7. Change all of your passwords after a mass data breach – Creating new passwords will safeguard your account if old passwords are stolen.

  8. Be aware of phishing emails – Deceiving consumers to take an immediate action is more efficient for con artists to access your personal information.


For more information or resources on cyber security, visit and the Identity Theft Resource Center at  We also encourage consumers to visit the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse at for assistance on how to protect their privacy or to file a complaint.  


About the Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties opened in 1921.  The non-profit is San Diego’s largest countrywide business membership organization with over 7,000 accredited businesses and charities.  The BBB offers free pre-purchase information and advice to consumers.  Its website possesses business reviews on more than 94,000 local companies. Consumers are encouraged to call the BBB’s 24-Hour Consumer Helpline at 858-496-2131 or visit the website at for a list of BBB Accredited Businesses or to file a complaint against a business.