Cable companies want to make sure you and your personal data are safe while online. Cable is the leading broadband provider, with about two-thirds of all high-speed internet subscribers.

More Americans than ever are on the internet:

  • In the first quarter of 2017, 89 percent of U.S. households with broadband used Wi-Fi to connect to the internet.
  • In each household, consumers connect nearly 15 devices to the internet.
  • 77 percent of Americans connect to the internet on a daily basis.
  • Nearly 63 percent of Americans in rural regions have a broadband internet connection in their home, up from about 35 percent in 2007.

As the internet plays a growing role in our lives, it’s critical that consumers take steps to ensure their safety and security online so that they can continue to enjoy what the internet has to offer.

Data Sharing:

Cable companies – leading providers of broadband – already are subject to strict federal regulations on what they can do with your data. 

The data collected by multichannel video programming distributors, including cable, has been called “among the most well-protected data sets in American business.”

Personal information collected by cable companies is subject to privacy regulations and oversight under the Cable Act, such as prohibitions on disclosure without prior consent from the customer. In addition, internet service providers – including cable companies – each have a privacy policy that offers consumers choice as to how their data is used. 

NCTA – The Internet & Television Association also has stated industry support of similar protective proposals. President and CEO Michael Powell recently wrote:

“A technology-neutral, federal framework of online consumer protection is a first step to restoring America’s faith in our digital future. When consumers go online, they shouldn’t have to think about what state they are in, and they shouldn’t need an engineering or law degree to understand what privacy requirements apply to different online services and what kind of entity may be engaged in blocking or throttling. They want to know that their personal data is protected, that their choices as consumers are respected, and that practices resulting in unfair discrimination or otherwise violating the spirit of internet openness will be punished swiftly.”

ISP Security:

Consumers can take steps to protect themselves while online. The Federal Trade Commission offers an extensive list, including these simple suggestions:

  • On your internet browser, delete cookies or limit the kinds of cookies that can be placed on your computer.
  • Turn on the “private browsing” setting on your internet browser to keep your web activities hidden from other people who use the same computer.
  • Limit tracking in or across mobile apps by controlling identifiers that allow ad targeting or collect your location information.
  • Use Virtual Private Network (VPN) apps to shield the information on your mobile devices when on a public network.
  • Avoid oversharing of personal information in posts you make on your social networks.

Cable also proudly partners with the National Cyber Security Alliance. Among its suggestions: 

  • Create strong passwords, and unique passwords for each account.
  • Don’t reveal personal or financial information in an email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. 
  • Don’t click on links in suspicious emails or solicitations. Links in emails, posts and texts are often used by cybercriminals to try to steal your information or infect your devices.
  • Before sending or entering sensitive information online, check the security of the website.
  • Limit the type of business you conduct over open public WiFi connections.

Keeping Kids Safe:

Cable providers are committed to helping parents learn how to manage their children’s online use and teach their kids how to safely navigate the internet. 

The cable industry offers tools and resources for parents to control internet usage as well as guidance on how to teach kids to use certain sites in moderation.

Controlwithcable.org is a collaborative industry effort that details how the cable industry keeps kids informed and healthy online through measures that enforce limits to online use and the type of media and sites that kids interact with.

The tools provided by cable are built around three basic concepts: choice, control and education. 

Parents are better able to make responsible decisions by using the tools and information provided by cable companies and the industry.

Resources:

Control It With Cable

Connect Safely

Family Online Safety Institute