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Data Privacy Day: TEEX advises taking measures to protect your personal information

“If you are using technology, then there’s a threat out to get you.”

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — January 28th is National Data Privacy Day, and our personal data is constantly collected and often gets used illegally. 

TEEX is known for taking care of cyber security for Bryan-College Station, but they also work with individuals to help them protect their own data.

Tyler Burwitz, a security analyst for TEEX says, “if you are using technology, then there’s a threat out to get you.”

From emails, texts home assistant devices, TEEX says your data is vulnerable.

“Anyone can get a phishing email. They may get a spam call someone claiming to be from the IRS or law enforcement to threaten you to do something. Text messages ‘hey click on this link and check out this free thing,’” Burwitz said.

It’s not just the digital world either, our physical means can also be a target.

“People can still go around to your trash cans, your homes and dig through trash and find out information for you. Or get an credit card application and fill it out on your behalf and try to assume your identity,” Burwitz said.

Not only can you lose money or points from your credit score, you might even lose your reputation. 

Burwitz said, "You just have a social security number, date of birth 'I don't have anything real valuable, why should I care?' You can potentially face legal and criminal situations. Let's say someone used your identity to look at child pornography, and then you're potentially liable for that. How can you prove that you didn't?"

So what can you do to protect yourself?

“Be careful with what you’re doing on public WiFi. If you're in hotels or airports or even rental cars, be careful what you’re plugging your phones and tablets into. Set passwords strong passwords,” he said.

“On the physical side of things, when you get things like credit card applications in the mail, shred those up and throw them in two different trashcans so someone couldn’t steal that stuff.” 

TEEX says awareness goes a long way with protecting your privacy, because it doesn’t really matter how much money you make, your data and identity can be a real moneymaker for cyber criminals. 

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