Online Data Not an Issue, but Privacy Is: Expert

Monday, 24 Sep 2012 | 1:28 PM ET

Recent cyber attacks against big U.S. banks have consumers worried about the safety of their online data, but these types of incidents don't compromise consumer information, an expert told CNBC Monday.

Laurence Dutton | The Image Bank | Getty Images

Michael Fertik, founder of Reputation.com, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”that despite recent breaches, “most people do not need to worry about the safety of their information.”

Hackers have been engaged in "denial of service" campaigns that disrupted the web sites of Bank of America , JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup by overwhelming them with incoming traffic. (Read More: BofA, JPMorgan, Citi Repeatedly Hacked by Iran: Sources.)

The banks are being targeted by sophisticated enemies. Yet Fertik, who is involved with the World Economic Forum’s taskforce on cyber security, said consumer should be reassured that their personal data in these instances hasn't been compromised.

“The good news is in almost all of the cases the breach is not a breach of your data, of your money. It's just a dysfunction of the Webster for a short amount of time."

Protecting Your Reputation Online
Michael Fertik, Reputation.com founder & CEO, discusses the fast way to protect yourself from online cyber attacks.

He also saidthat the banks are pretty good at cyber security. Fertik said that consulting companies, the law firms, the accountancies that are the soft underbelly when it comes to corporate cyber security.

Fertik, however, said consumer should remain vigilant. Most consumers may not need to worry about their online data, but they should worry about their online privacy, he said.

"Most of us are being hacked in what I would say is kind of a more soft way every day,” Fertik said. “When we're on the web our privacy is being mined.”

He cited a report in the Financial Times that indicated that Facebook is mining data about users online, then marrying that with offline information. “This combination of data may be a huge violation of the recent settlement with the FTC,” he said. (Read More:FTC Okays Settlement With Facebook Over Privacy Issues.)

Moreover, Europe has taken a step to block Facebook from using its facial recognition technology, Fertik said.


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