Manager sitting on stairs working on laptop, talking on phone in New Jersey. Big Data, Big Troubles.

Storage and Security Concerns and Safety Measures

Data privacy is a big issue right now, and it affects New Jersey individuals and businesses alike. Over the past several years, data security breaches have become more and more common, putting a new emphasis on individual and company-owned data protection. Here are some actionable steps you can take to protect your data privacy.

Personal Information

To develop a protection strategy, it’s important to understand what constitutes personal information. Put simply, this is anything that identifies an individual, including:

  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Birthdate
  • Social Security number
  • Passwords
  • Biometric data

If you think about all the times you’re asked for this information, you will understand just how exposed your personal data is. You may not consider it a big issue now, but that would certainly change should your identity be stolen.

For Individuals: Maintain Control

Your personal information is exchanged in nearly every online transaction. Understanding how organizations use this information, and how exposure of your sensitive data diminishes your data privacy, is the first step toward maintaining control. Obviously, the goal is to keep this information out of the hands of anyone that might use it for nefarious purposes.

Most people routinely distribute their information to organizations with the confidence that those organizations are going to keep that data safe. Unfortunately, this faith is often misplaced, as we’ve seen in large-scale data breaches at well-known companies.

It’s important to keep data privacy in mind before sharing personal information, but being diligent about who you give your data to simply isn’t enough to protect it. Security threats come in many, often unexpected, forms. Solutions must fit the particular threat. Some of these solutions can be put into place by an individual, but more often the answers lie in businesses maintaining control of the data they collect.

5 Data Privacy Problems and Solutions for Businesses

  1. Vulnerabilities in applications: Data breaches are most often caused because software hasn’t been updated with current threat definitions and security patches. This problem can happen to any organization that isn’t diligently updating the software it uses. It’s important to keep all of your software updated, whether on your personal computer or a company’s network systems.
  2. Poorly trained workers/sabotage: Too many massive data breaches are caused by the people that a business depends on the most. If a company’s staff isn’t properly trained, or disgruntled employees have access to sensitive information, those situations could end poorly for both the business and its customers.
  3. Lack of response: Even if you’ve put all the right security measures in place, a breach is still possible. It is crucial to be prepared, so in the event of a breach, your organization has the tools and expertise to mitigate the situation before it becomes a problem. Any breach needs to be addressed swiftly and surely.
  4. Failure to dispose of data: A business may find the data it takes in useful for multiple reasons, but holding onto the personal information of past customers, vendors and staff is a recipe for disaster. Get rid of the data you no longer need, especially if it contains sensitive or personally identifying information.
  5. Collection of unnecessary data: Data is often shared between companies. If your business doesn’t need data that’s been shared with you, however, it’s better to securely dispose of it. Possessing data you don’t intend to use, or don’t need, can lead to losing track of it.

People provide personally identifying information all the time, but many businesses and organizations don’t understand how to protect it properly. Worse yet, some may actively use it for their own monetary benefit, selling it to another party who may or may not have good data security practices in place. To combat these substantial risks, individuals must take a diligent approach to keeping sensitive data private, away from hackers, and secure.

Cyber Insurance for Individuals and Businesses in New Jersey

In one recent year, nearly 1.4 million reports of identity theft were received by the FTC. For these individuals, the nightmare of identity theft is a wake-up call to take data security seriously. Still, there is never a guarantee that your data will remain secure once it’s in another’s hands, no matter how diligently you protect it. In cases of identity theft or other sensitive data breaches, cyber insurance can be a huge help.

Not all cyber insurance policies are the same, though, and what’s good for one person may not be right for another. For personal cyber insurance, the options run the gamut from fraud loss to identity restoration assistance. How much cyber coverage you need for your unique situation will depend on a number of factors. With so much data being stored and shared every day, understanding your insurance options may be the most important step you take to protect yourself, your family and your company. An independent insurance agent can help you navigate the options, compare quotes from multiple carriers, and file a claim should you or your business be targeted by a data breach.

Why Work with a New Jersey Independent Insurance Agent?

In order to get the protection you need and deserve, you’ll want to work with a trusted expert. And who could be better for the job than a local agent who shares your zip code? New Jersey independent insurance agents are armed with the knowledge of what coverage is needed in your area, and take the time to learn exactly how much coverage is necessary for your individual needs.

These agents act as your own personal insurance shoppers, offering you more options than one-policy companies. With just one call, they’ll start gathering multiple quotes for you to review so you can be sure you get the right coverage at the right price.

And, because they’re your dedicated agent, they’re not just there at the beginning, but are there to help walk you through the claims process and make sure you’re getting the benefits you're entitled to should an event occur.