Have you recently paid a parking ticket to the City of Ames? Or perhaps you recently stayed at Sheraton or Westin hotels? The data breaches reported by the City of Ames and Marriott International are another wake-up call highlighting the importance of keeping data secure.

For some context on just how massive the Marriot data breach is, the combined populations of Canada, the United  States and Mexico is 493 million. The Marriot data breach exposed the personal data of 500 million people. The City of Ames data breach was far more limited, exposing the data of 4,600 customers.

When reading about these data breaches, it sometimes feels like there is not a lot that we can do as individuals or small businesses to keep our data safe. And while it is true that we don’t have a lot of control over the City of Ames servers, or Marriott’s networks, there are steps that we can all take to prevent and mitigate the impact of data breaches.

Over the next several weeks, we will be highlighting a few ways to keep your data safe. I’m looking forward to sharing blog posts on the importance of:

            1) Creating unique passwords for each website

            2) Using strong passwords

            3) Enabling multi-factor authentication

            4) Checking account statements and reconciling your accounts on a regular basis

To read more about the City of Ames data breach: https://www.cityofames.org/Home/Components/News/News/5117/2106  

To learn more about the Marriott data breach: 
Marriott Announces Starwood Guest Reservation Database Security Incident

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