5 Bs of Data Security

Tightening up the security system that protects our data is always a concern. And sometimes the biggest deterents are simple things we can do ourselves. In fact, sometimes you need to protect yourself by not tellng the truth.

Let’s talk about the “5 Bs of Data Security.” Yes, this is where white lies come in. In this case, they are for your own protection.

Yes, fib. Tell a tale. Spin a yarn. Whatever you're more comfortable calling it, but here's how it works. When you're asked the online security question, 'What's your mother's maiden name?' make one up.  Don't use the real one. Lots of people know your mom's maiden name, right? Just consistently use the made-up one.

Give out as little personal info as possible. A retailer doesn't need your social security number. Say no. And your birth date? You can say no, or remember number one, make one up. Just be consistent.


Create passwords then make them something unique to you. Just creating a long word, or well-known phrase, with symbols and numbers in there isn't enough. Make a statement. Here's something hard to crack: My dog eats pickles. That's random, right? Now let's jumble it up. MyD0g3atzP!cklez  This combo will be harder for a hacker to grab.

You know when you shop and they ask you for your email address in order to get a 25 percent discount? Yes, of course you do. Then, you get tons of junk emails. Here's a work-around. Try 33mail.  It's easy to get started. You can create as many email addresses as you like. A different one for every store. It would have the name of the retailer, with your name, then 33mail.com. When the retailer emails the 33mail address, it gets forwarded to your regular email address. The retailer never has your email address. So after you get your sweet deal you can block them with one click. It also protects you if that retailer or sender gets hacked because they never really had your real email address. Oh, and it's free. Nice, huh?

You have to be your own advocate. Check your credit reports regularly. Freeze your credit reports if you haven’t already. Sign up for activity alerts with your credit card companies and your bank. That will keep you in the know and the bad guys at bay.