There's almost nothing that can't be done digitally. Looking for a companion? There are dating apps like Tinder. Need to deposit a check? Snap a pic of it and send it to your bank. Looking for a new bug-out bag? Do some online window shopping. The list goes on. And, unfortunately, so too do the ways in which we make ourselves vulnerable on the Web.

With the rise of virtual pickpockets, cyber terrorists, hacktivist groups, and militarized hackers, we as a society are getting more susceptible to online attacks — unless small businesses, large corporations, and government agencies beef up their security protocols. Of course, we each have a responsibility to protect ourselves online, but we're focusing here on companies because when they have to shell out more for cyber security, they pass those costs onto the consumers — us. Also, you might not realize it, but businesses house a lot of our personal information. Your physical address could be obtained by hacking a county archive. Your social security number could be stolen from government databases. And your credit card numbers can be swiped from an online store with nothing more than a mouse and keyboard.

So, surf the Web wisely — and don't be afraid to ask if your favorite stores, medical providers, and elected officials are doing enough to ensure that your private data stays private.


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