Protecting Privacy: Forewarned is Forearmed.

Personal Privacy is a major concern among the state’s business leaders, according to a survey CFM conducted for Oregon Business magazine.Oregon business decision-makers have their head on a swivel due to concerns about business and individual privacy.

Compared to five years ago, 80 percent say their concerns about privacy are much higher or somewhat higher today. They also say threats apply to both business and personal activities.

Business leaders break out in a sweat providing business information when making a purchase. Almost all (95 percent) say the buying process is a major or minor threat to business privacy.

Digital and mobile interactions are also top privacy concerns when using:

•    An app on a business-paid Smartphone or tablet (90 percent);
•    A social media site to promote a business or organization (88 percent); and
•    A Smartphone or mobile device (86 percent);

Are all rated as major or minor threats to business privacy among decision-makers.

Threats to privacy aren’t limited to business interactions. Almost all decision-makers say individual privacy is threatened when a persons:

•    Gives personal information when making a purchase (97 percent);
•    Uses a social media site (95%);
•    Uses an app on a Smartphone or tablet (91 percent);
•    Visits a website (90 percent); and
•    Uses a Smartphone or mobile device (90 percent).

The level of concern about privacy issues among Oregonians is similar to that found nationwide. In a recent consumer survey conducted by TRUSTe, a web-based privacy-solutions provider, 90 percent of consumers say they are frequently or sometimes worried about online privacy. To monitor consumer confidence, TRUSTe has created a quarterly Consumer Privacy Index.

Forewarned is forearmed goes the 16th century idiom. With that in mind, some ways to protect your privacy are recommended by banks and are:

  • ·      Don’t carry more than you need in a wallet or purse;
  • ·      Don’t fall for online deals that are too good to be true;
  • ·      Protect you Social Security number and date of birth;
  • ·      Periodically review your credit report and scores;
  • ·      Review banking account and credit card statements;
  • ·      Shred all documents that contain important information;
  • ·      Regularly check your mailbox;
  • ·      Create “strong” user names and passwords; and
  • ·      Keep virus protection and operating system software up to date.

Research findings are based on results from an online survey conducted in December 2011 by CFM and Oregon Business among 585 magazine subscribers.