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The FTC invites you to comment on commercial surveillance and data security

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Who’s minding your business online ?

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, many of us have grown used to the idea that companies constantly collect information about us as we go about our daily lives. It may be information we give up willingly, like a credit card number for a purchase. But it also may be information that we don’t know we’re surrendering, and may not want to share. Companies are able to collect enormous amounts of personal data about virtually every conceivable aspect of our lives, often in ways that we might not expect or understand.

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Google now lets you password-protect all your searches

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Google users now have the option to add a password to their Web and Activity page. Turning on the option will prevent anyone who picks up a logged-in device from seeing the device owner’s search history, YouTube watch history, and Google assistant queries without first entering a password. Instructions on how to turn the feature on are available in the article. Google focused a lot on privacy at its I/O keynote last week, announcing a new Private Compute Core for Android, a locked photos folder, and a feature that deletes the last 15 minutes of browsing in Chrome.

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NJ Releases Annual Statistics on Cyber Breaches

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the staff of the Ridgewood

Trenton NJ,  In an effort to educate the public about online privacy risks, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the New Jersey State Police today announced 2017 statistics regarding data breaches affecting New Jersey residents. The statistics showed that 958 data breaches were reported to State Police in 2017, a 41 percent increase from the 676 breaches reported to State Police in 2016. During 2017, the Attorney General’s Office also over saw a number of significant data privacy investigations, which resulted in $4.8 million in civil settlements with the State.

The single largest data breach reported in 2017 involved Equifax, which affected more than 4 million New Jersey residents. In total, the 958 breaches reported in 2017 affected more than 4.38 million accounts belonging to New Jersey residents( the vast majority of which resulted from the Equifax breach). In 2016, the first year that the Attorney General’s Office collected such data, approximately 116,000 New Jersey account holders were affected by data breaches.

As part of today’s announcement, and in conjunction with National Cybersecurity Month, the Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is also releasing tips for New Jersey residents about how they can better protect their sensitive personal information. The effort is part of a broader effort by Attorney General Grewal to strengthen the state’s cybersecurity protections, and follows an announcement earlier this year the creation of a Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Section within the Division of Law (DOL) to investigate data privacy cases and advise state agencies on related matters.

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