W.Va. AG Marks Data Privacy Day, Underscores Importance of Safeguarding Data

Updated 1 year ago From a News Release by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey urges businesses and individuals to vigilantly safeguard personal information in this week’s recognition of National Data Privacy Day, Jan. 28. 

“No information or network is completely safe from falling into the hands of hackers,” said Attorney General Morrisey. “That’s why it’s so important for both businesses and individuals to make sure they do everything necessary to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Many business and day-to-day transactions require the exchange of personal information, which means information is potentially available for hackers to access and use for nefarious purposes.  

The Attorney General urges businesses to take steps to protect their information as well as any collected customer data. Those steps could include the following:

  • Develop a sound data security plan to prevent and respond to any security incidents. Ensure that employees are well-trained on the plan and strictly adhere to it.
  • Use strong passwords and securely store sensitive paperwork.
  • Only collect personal information from customers if absolutely necessary or required by law. Safely dispose of that information as soon as it is no longer needed.
  • Make sure the computer system and website have appropriate safeguards to prevent hacking.
  • Provide customers with an email address or customer service phone number that allows them to validate correspondence they receive.
  • Monitor returned email messages as scammers often hijack email systems to send bulk messages.

Consumers can also do their part by not clicking on unfamiliar links or attachments, not doing personal business on public or unsecure Wi-Fi and never giving out personal information without verifying the authenticity of the recipient.

Consumers who believe they have been a victim of identity theft can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.

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