Originally published on 1/8/18 at Forbes. Hacking is no longer new. It’s become a daily conversation in newsrooms and boardrooms everywhere; hacking and data breaches are the never-ending security story of the 21st century. Hackers illegally make their way into the computer systems of companies, hospitals, government institutions and our homes on a daily basis. […]

Hacking is no longer new. It’s become a daily conversation in newsrooms and boardrooms everywhere; hacking and data breaches are the never-ending security story of the 21st century. To rise to this occasion, strong IT leadership is essential. Data breaches can happen at any moment, and we now need to assess the influx of increasingly massive amounts of data for risk in real time.

Look, I don’t want to be a beta tester, but if I must, because you’re unable to create a reliable product on your own, then you better put in a working feedback mechanism.

Warning! Don’t do it… don’t pick up your phone… don’t login to your computer… don’t do it! Next thing you know, you’ll be with me, in the depths of inbox hell. With all the email accounts, calendar invites, text messages, Facebook messages, LinkedIn messages, and everything else—I just can’t keep up with it all!

Hacking is in the news nearly every day and people constantly reach out to ask me if their information is safe. Are they at risk? What can they do to be more protected? Should they get a VPN or use Tor?

The best thing to do is to start simply. Begin with your passwords. Do you have good passwords on your accounts?

Ever look for a friend or colleague on LinkedIn only to find that he as two separate profiles that are each his? He’s got one profile that’s current and an older one from when he had a different job. Ever wonder why he did that?

I’ll tell you why. He didn’t do it on purpose, he did it because he’s short-sighted, forgetful, and doesn’t understand data.