It always amazes me how willing people are to give out confidential information. And I’m not talking about the younger generation who have grown up with computers. Your data is yours; and the businesses and organizations you entrust with it may not really care for it as much as you do.
While some states have very strict guidelines, such as Massachusetts; imposing additional regulations only serves to increase the cost of doing business which typically gets passed on to consumers. While regulations have their place, they are not a panacea.
Case in point: yesterday I visited a business establishment which falls under several federal laws regarding data security. Their security measures consisted of one paper sign taped on a wall and a plastic sign on a door, they both read “Secure Room Authorized Personnel Only”. If this works as well as the no gun signs on bank doors and drug free zone signs, the data must be secure! The door was next to a sliding glass window and the lock on the door was cheap and had a twist button to unlock it. A person reaching an arm through the window could unlock the door, but that would be unnecessary as the door was wide open and only one person in the building.
Earlier this month one of our lead application developers and I had a meeting with a fairly large business organization. The organization kept very confidential records regarding its membership, which if it fell into the wrong hands could cost the business member thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, or perhaps even worse. We drew up a proposal for the organization based upon the criteria we received from their staff. During a phone call with the director of the organization, I was told that security really wasn’t that important to them; driving home my point.
Before giving control of your information to another person, company, or organization, you just might want to have them show you how they protect your information. As with almost everything, it is our responsibility to take the proper precautions with our information, as we will be the ones cleaning up the mess.
This article was written by The Boss of HITman Services, a computer and IT company, based in Clifton Park and serving the Albany, Troy, Schenectady and Saratoga Counties of New York.