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Security & privacy

Happy New Year from Kim!

As the calendar rolls over to the first day of January each year, it’s a new chapter. A clean slate. It’s bigger than just 12 months this time around, too, because 2020 also kicks off a new decade.

While there are certainly reasons to be optimistic about what lies ahead, we still have to remain vigilant about the dangers that persist in the digital world. I know that can be difficult when so much of it seemingly becomes commonplace, like data leaks and breaches.

I get it — you see data breach after data breach, and it becomes easier to ignore because you’re under the impression that hackers already have at least some of your login credentials or other sensitive information. And you should assume they do.

That means continuing to keep an eye on your credit card statements, bank accounts and financial services for unusual activity. And be careful what personal info you post online.

Social hacking is another trend on the rise, one that will no doubt continue into the new year. That’s when cybercriminals use info and details they know about you to scam you out of your money. You may think it’s safe to open attachments like word docs and PDF files, but it’s an easy way to get a key-logger or even something worse installed on your device.

Along those lines, stop to consider what devices you’re connecting to the internet and how you’re securing them. We already know anything online is vulnerable, and that includes every gadget you add to make your home smarter. As strange as it sounds, even your smart refrigerator can be used against you.

As far as New Year’s resolutions go, here’s one to add to the list: change your passwords. It’s also time for us to stop trusting that big tech has our best interests at heart, because above all else, they only want money. Keep that in mind as we head into 2020.

From my family to yours, Happy New Year!

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