Online security and privacy are an immensely debated subject over the past decade and privacy bills have been amended to fight against the latest threats to our digital assets. It’s a terrible feeling when you realize that personal, financial, and online behavior data are shared among multiple companies without your consent.
Privacy and user agreement documents provided to us prior to subscribing to an online service are usually vague and long, which we seldom go through before giving our consent. Thus, we never get to know how the data we provide to these companies is used or other third parties it’s share with.
Hawaii has recently introduced an internet privacy bill, which is yet to be passed, for ensuring the safety of digital assets and privacy of the state’s residents. This legislation is similar to the California Consumer Privacy Act, wherein every business has to inform the Hawaiians about the type of data they collect. Apart from this, it will also outlaw the sale of browser history and geolocation data without the user’s consent. However, tech companies and advertisers see downsides to this bill. They are protesting against the ban on unauthorized selling of users’ geo-locations.
Over the years, we have seen Hawaii be one of the states that are open to cybersecurity improvements. 2019 marked significant testing against the energy grid. The security exercise hoped to simulate an attack and evaluate the resistance of electric grids.
Why some oppose Hawaii’s new bill
Let’s run through the cybersecurity laws in Hawaii. Its security breach laws apply to all personal information, regardless of the format it is in. Companies are responsible for informing clients and ensuring that all consumers are notified. If an organization fails to conduct appropriate breach reporting, they are subjected to fines and penalties. However, the law system still needs to address employee training, which is crucial if data breaches are to be avoided.
When it comes to the new internet privacy bill, advertisers claim it to be a mistake. According to them, consumers would be bombarded by numerous requests. However, while the bill might need some readjustments, it is a step in the right direction. Sadly, experts emphasize the issue of having differing privacy laws across states. Even if each of them is perfect, they are not identical. Hence, this creates problems for companies that need to comply with unique rules for each state.
Steps for Protect your Digital Assets and Privacy
The days of being ignorant about online security and privacy are long gone; you need to be proactive about protecting your digital assets. Here’s what you can do to start securing your digital identity:
Turn on Alerts: Almost all the online services, including banking, provides you the facility to turn on alerts for your online account. Every time you log in from a recognized or unrecognized device, you’ll be sent an alert informing you about the immediate account activity. In case you receive an alert when you haven’t logged in to any of your online accounts, you can take immediate action to prevent illegal usage of your account. For instance, banks can inform users of each transaction. Hence, this makes it easier to catch financial fraud.
Two-Factor Authentication: The majority of our online digital assets will have the feature to set stringent passwords as well astwo-factor authentication (2FA) controls. Activate it so that you’ve to provide a second password in the form of a One Time Password (OTP) you receive whenever you log in to any of your online services. Thus, even if somebody has access to your laptop, they won’t be able to log in because they won’t be able to provide the OTP.
Stop Sharing Information: We’re always compelled to share our name, email ID, and even phone numbers while subscribing to various online services. Now, this puts our data at risk because any data breach at the service provider’s end exposes our data. If you want to avoid such ugly situations, it’s best to share very little or even false information. Create an email account just for subscribing to online services and, if possible, have a phone number that isn’t linked to your bank or other important services. Thus, even if there’s a data breach, you have nothing much to worry about. Additionally, refrain from sharing your personal or financial data with services that aren’t endorsed or recommended by your friends or colleagues. Online services that look suspicious should be completely avoided.
Encrypt all web traffic: A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a secure technology that enables users to exchange data with an online service provider in the most secure manner. Install a VPN on all the devices with an internet connection as it will create a secure tunnel for exchanging data with the server. Thus, no hacker will ever be able to access your data, even when you’re on a public Wi-Fi network. The end-to-end encryption offered by a VPN is the most effective way of securing data exchanged between a device and the internet. Hence, fewer opportunities for hackers and marketers to get their hands on your data.