Consumer Column

Attorney General Jeff Landry Encourages Participation in National Data Privacy Day

BATON ROUGE, LA – Attorney General Jeff Landry encourages Louisiana to use National Data Privacy Day as a time to review the best practices in guarding personal information. Observed annually on January 28 – National Data Privacy Day aims to empower families, consumers, and businesses and to protect their privacy.

“While consumers are paying closer attention to the value of their personal information, Data Privacy Day is a particularly good reminder to spend time double-checking privacy settings and learning how to protect families from criminals trying to steal personal information,” said Attorney General Jeff Landry. “By being proactive, we can help make our communities safer.”

Attorney General Jeff Landry offers the following tips to help keep personal information secure:

• Regularly change passwords and keep them private. Use passwords with different cases, numbers, and symbols for computers, phones, credit cards, banking, and other accounts.
• Never enter banking information unless website is secure. Secure web addresses start with https:// and/or have a closed padlock in your web browser. Always be sure to log out of websites when finished.
• Do not overshare online social networking sites. Never post full name, address, phone number, or other information that identity thieves could use to answer “challenge” questions in attempt to gain access to your accounts. Also, consider limiting page viewers to a small group of people.
• Keep a close hold on personal information. Never give out Social Security or credit card numbers in response to unsolicited emails, telephone calls, text messages, or other communications from unknown senders.
• Update and use security software. Install anti-virus software, anti-spyware software, and firewalls with preferences set to update these protections often.
• Avoid exposure to computer virus or spyware. Do not open files, click on links, or download programs sent by strangers.
• Be wise about public Wi-Fi. Do not send personal information over your laptop or smartphone on a public wireless networks unless using encrypted websites.

Education is the best way to avoid the pitfalls of fraud and scams. For more information on how to stay safe online, contact Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889.

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Coming soon, the attorney's general office seeks to provide a mechanism by which to take online payments for collections.