Exactly one week before National Data Privacy Day, the Boston Business Journal hosted the Cybersecurity Summit & Expo 2020: Impact the Outcome of Your Cyber Risk, drawing hundreds of individuals interested in learning from industry leaders about what the so-called “bad guys” are doing to undermine your security efforts and steal your data.

For example, ethical hacker Matt Wagenknecht of Citrin Cooperman demonstrated various ways to hack into IT environments. In a quick swipe he can retrieve card information from ID badges to surpass building security, and three or four seconds is all he needs to tap into a company’s infrastructure and retract valuable, private data from their systems.

The summit continued a national conversation around the rise of detrimental cyber-attacks on organizations and individuals. At this point, it almost takes an active effort to avoid hearing or reading about the vulnerability of your data or the likelihood of hacks. With this constant threat looming, the most prominent cybersecurity topic of 2020 is how individuals can protect themselves, and their everyday belongings – like cars and cameras – from being accessed remotely.

Most Americans understand the risk: Nixplay recently surveyed 2,003 Americans, in partnership with market research company InnovateMR, and found that 90% of professionals believe their personal data is available to criminals at any time, no matter how careful they are.

But they also don’t really know what to do about it: According to a study conducted by Varonis,  64% of Americans don’t know what steps to take in the event of a data breach.

With nine out of ten professionals feeling vulnerable at all times and not knowing how to respond to a likely hack, we should be focused instead on doing our best to limit access to sensitive information.

That is why the Coalition for Safe and Secure Data is working tirelessly to stop an ill-advised Massachusetts ballot proposal from making personal vehicle information like real-time location more easily available. With no safeguards on who can access your information or limits on how companies can use your data, the Massachusetts ballot question is irresponsible and puts drivers at risk. In fact, the question almost goes out of its way to avoid using language related to data privacy or cyber security.

Our Coalition will continue to educate the residents of Massachusetts and beyond until we inform the public of the dishonest intention and repercussions of this proposal. You have a right to find out what data is being collected about you and the ability to control who has access to it. Keep your information in the hands of who you choose and trust, not strangers.

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