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Are you concerned about Internet privacy?

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Greg Peck
January 30, 2013

I read a story by George Hesselberg in Monday’s Wisconsin State Journal that was alarming. It noted that Monday was “Data Privacy Day” and explained why you should stop slumping at your computer, sit up and take notice.

Your digital presence, Hesselberg wrote, “is being probed, attacked, tempted, lured, sweet-talked then dragged into a virtual alley and relieved of password, purse and personal effects.”

A UW-Madison official suggested “we cannot be paranoid enough,” and that attacks on the system happen “tens of thousands of times daily.”

Hesselberg wrote that a state agency warns that tracking a digital footprint has never been easier.

The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's Office of Privacy Protection logged nine “data breaches” affecting state residents in 2012. Sometimes such breaches can expose your Social Security number.

While companies and their data can get hacked, most are traced to information contained on stolen laptops, Hesselberg wrote.

Sandy Chalmers, division administrator at DATCP, urges computer users to change their passwords; make them long, strong and complex; and use different ones for different accounts.

As I’ve mentioned in my blog before, I don’t do my banking or pay bills online because I don’t trust the security systems. Some readers suggest I’m being paranoid, and I know many of you think nothing of making purchases online. I, however, try to avoid online shopping.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook



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