Our new Artificial Agony Aunt has joined the team!
Got a question? Then say hello to KelReg Triple-A…
This month, we’ve some exciting news for you!
As well as being trailblazers in all things data protection, we’ve jumped in with all four feet (because there are two of us – not because we’re quadrupedal or really short) and have decided to become early adopters in the emerging AI market…
That’s right, we’ve just installed KelReg Triple-A (or ‘KelReg’ for short) – our new Artificial Agony Aunt, and here to answer all your online data protection queries and conundrums.
Designed to be straight-talking with the incisive logic of a machine, it’s also been programmed with the latest chatbot qualities to make it more human-sounding; although, at this point, we should probably point out that KelReg is still a prototype, possibly a few components short of a full circuit, and still a little literal/hasn’t mastered all of the conversational subtleties.
What’s the worst that can happen?
So, to kick us off with our very first question, we have Keith from Charney Bassett.
Keith, over to you. It’s time to: ‘Ask KelReg’…
There’s been a lot of coverage in the news lately about data breaches and I’m extremely worried. Should I be and what can I do to protect myself?
Keith (Charney Bassett)
If I was capable of experiencing any feelings I would also be extremely perturbed. With a name like Keith, I am sure that your life cannot have been easy. However, at least you are not called Kevin, Kelly or Reginald. That would not be good. Ha ha.
But back to your concerns regarding data breaches.
I am aware that high-profile incidents continue to occur (the most recent example involved British Airways in which customers’ personal and financial details were hacked) and accept that your unease is justified.
I also accept that human stupidity knows no bounds so can recommend the following precautionary steps to help you safeguard your data:
- Refrain from using the same password for all of your accounts. Especially if it is 12345, PASSWORD or ILoveDatabasix. That is simply stupid. Instead consider password management software that gives you a random password generator and changes your passwords regularly. It is inordinately clever because it is computer-based. Just like me.
- Do not share your password with anyone else. And do not keep all your passwords written down in the same place. Or easy to find. That is also stupendously stupid. If I need to explain why, then this is not a good start.
- Become a Champion Shredder. If you have documentation that contains sensitive information that you are not planning to keep, dispose of it properly to prevent identity theft. Any cop programme will tell you that the bin is the first place everyone looks for clues. Comprende?
- Beware disclosing sensitive information on the telephone. As well as stealing your details, they could be anyone. And also a psychopath.
- Contemplate before you click. Not all weblinks are authentic. Type in the company’s URL yourself to be sure. If you are not sure what a ‘URL’ is, click here. Go on. I dare you.
- Use virus and malware software and avoid submitting sensitive information over unsecured Wi-Fi networks. You could also consult a cybersecurity specialist. It is a very straightforward process. All you have to do is give them remote access to your system. Okay, that is a little counterintuitive.
- Consider carrying non-RFID enabled cards or protect them in a wallet that prevents them from being remotely skimmed. This doesn’t work with milk or custard.
My extraordinarily advanced data banks also suggest that there are many other ways to protect yourself.
Have you considered urban camouflage, an inflatable sumo suit or changing your name by deed-poll? Then you should.
Thank you for using the ‘Ask KelReg’ automated service.
I hope you are feeling better as a result.
Er, so there you have it – we’re sure you’ll agree, a very successful inaugural outing for KelReg Triple-A, our very first Artificial Agony Aunt.
And feel free to keep the queries coming for Ask KelReg by emailing us with any data protection dilemmas you may have (details on our Contact page).
Of course, if you’d rather deal with some real humans, we’ll be more than happy to help. Even if your name’s Keith.
Now, please excuse us; we just need to go and check the software manual to find out where KelReg’s override and reset buttons are.
And, while we’re at it, we might look for a new place to shove its plug.
Until next time...