INTERVIEW: BBB encourages vigilance amid data privacy breaches








Listen to KID NewsRadio’s full interview with Jeremy Johnson, Marketplace Manager at the Better Business Bureau


IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Recent data breaches have many people rethinking how they use the Internet.

Facebook reported on (DATE) it had been subject to the largest privacy data breach in it’s 14 year history, putting tens of millions of users’ data at risk.

The revelation only added to the continued efforts on other social media sites to #deletefacebook and #quitfacebook.

But, not everybody is ready to delete their profile. Many, Better Business Bureau Marketplace Manager Jeremy Johnson said, find themselves staying for the same reason they started: friends and family.

“So many of us, we are using Facebook to connect with friends and family…but also we have to be aware of what we’re sharing,” Jeremy Johnson, Marketplace Manager for the Better Business Bureau Pacific Northwest Region, told KID NewsRadio. “So many of us are ‘over-sharers.’ Our birthday [is] on there, maybe where we’re going to eat dinner, or going out of town or some many of those variety of things, and just the simple birthday or an address can give scammers or con artists so much information to go on.”

Taking simple steps, like reviewing privacy settings, can put control back in the hands of the user.

“There’s so much you can do as far as privacy settings,” Johnson said. “Going into those, taking that minute to look in and see how tight you can tighten up that privacy within your social media accounts, so you feel comfortable with that as well.”

Businesses also need to be wary and guarded in a time where Internet security and privacy can be attacked through something as simple and disguised as a business email or job application.

Madison County recently shut down for a day after hackers locked up their systems with ransomware, refusing to release the system until the county paid the money demanded. County officials had previously backed up the system, so employees were able to simply override and reload the system without paying the ransom, but Johnson said not every business or organization is that lucky.

“It’s so important for businesses to protect themselves as well,” Johnson said. “Ransomware, it can be very debilitating…these businesses do need to protect themselves, whether they’re putting information on the cloud, whether they’re, you know, consulting with IT professionals, ‘If this came at my business, how would I protect myself and how could I overcome this if it has happened?'”