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Hawaii without strict internet privacy rules

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It may be scary to know everything you click and type online can be tracked and sold.

Hawaii lawmakers have been unable to put in stricter state standards after President Trump drastically changed online privacy rules.
The World Wide Web can be a tricky place to travel for those unfamiliar with cyber-security.

"When you are online, it is difficult to tell what is safe to click on, especially if you are not looking closely. You may inadvertently click on a malicious link and get your computer compromised," said Hawaii's Chief Information Security Officer Vince Hoang. 

More than just malware and hackers can get their hands on your personal information. Your internet connection can also track every detail and then turn it over legally. Because of a new measure signed into law by President Trump.

"Anything you look at on the internet, your Social Security number, your Geo-location info, your childrens' info -- all of that stuff can be packaged and sold to the highest bidder," said Rep. Matt LoPresti.

Lopresti added last week's White House change came too late for Hawaii lawmakers to pass stricter state safeguards this legislative session. But he felt its the government's job to protect your privacy.

"When the founding fathers wrote the constitution, they talked about privacy. You have a right to privacy. But the founders talked about paper, you have a right to your private papers. We don't live with paper anymore we live with these electronic devices and so phones and tablets are your papers now," stated LoPresti.

So what can internet users do to safeguard their information?

First of all, make sure they are connected to secure sites.

"Connecting to websites by secure means helps limit the possibility of eves-dropping and helps promote the privacy of your connection," said Hoang.

There are also ways to block internet providers from seeing exactly what you are doing online, by using tools like VPNs.

"VPNs are short for virtual private networks and when used properly, a VPN is a good tool to be able to stay safe on line," stated Hoang.

Internet users should also take cyber safety precautions like logging on with unique passwords to prevent hackers from getting access. 

According to LoPresti, hackers are the biggest concern as service providers gather up all of your sensitive data. "Hackers know this is a honey pot of information and there is less incentive for service providers to protect that information -- this is a disaster waiting to happen."

To help internet users learn more about these safeguards, a security teach-in will be held on Sunday April 30 from 10:30 a.m. -noon  at Box Jelly. Which is located at 301 A Kamani Street in Honolulu.

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