What Are Data Breaches and How to Protect Yourself
In 2019, we already saw a massive amount of data breaches a large scale basis that has affected thousands of internet users. A data breach is a security incident in which protected or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen, or used by an individual unauthorized to do so.
Data breaches expose your passwords, email addresses, credit information, home addresses phone numbers, and even steal your identity. Many breaches occur due to overexposed and unstructured data files and documents.
Here are the most significant data breaches of 2018, which includes the information the hackers assessed in each one.
Major Data Breaches
On July 10, Macy’s had to inform their customers that a third party has hacked their database and had access to their accounts from April 26 to Jue 12, 2018. The hacks got access to names, phone numbers, email addresses, birth dates, and credit card numbers.
On July 4, Timehop experienced a data breach that exposed the names and emails of all its users, roughly 21 million people. 4.7 million of those users had their phone numbers stolen. TImehop has since put multi-factor authentication in place to prevent such a breach from happening again.
The Exactis breach affected approximately 340 million records from the marketing and aggregation firm. Exactis left its database exposed on a publicly accessible server, giving hackers access to a considerable amount of consumer information such as home address, phone numbers, and emails.
Ticketfly recently announced a data breach that affected more than 26 million customers. They were forced to temporarily shut down its website after customer names, home addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers were stolen.
In early June, 92 million email addresses and passwords from MyHeritage were exposed in a data breach. The genealogy and DNA testing company began encouraging all users to change their passwords and to sign up for two-factor authentication as soon as it becomes available.
In March, Under Armor announced that 150 million users of its app, MyFitnesPal, had their information exposed. The stolen data included usernames, email addresses, and passwords.
Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord&Taylor
The owner of retail stores, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, announced a data breach in April that revealed the theft of more than 5 million users’ credit and debit card information. The series of attacks began in May 2017, and since then, the hackers have been selling this information on the dark web. The attack was discovered by Gemini Advisory, a cybersecurity firm that called the breach one of the biggest and most damaging to ever hit retail companies.
In late March, the U. S. Justice Department discovered universities had been targeted by a government based Iranian hacking scheme. Nearly 150 universities in the United States had 31 terabytes of intellectual property stolen via a phishing scam aimed at professors at the universities.
The attack is estimated to have caused over 3.4 billion worth of damages. The hackers attacked five U.S. government agencies and 36 private emails.
How to Prevent A Data Breach
Keep only what you need. Inventory type and quantity of information in your files and on your computers:
- Safeguard data.
- Destroy before disposal.
- Update procedures.
- Educate/train employees.
- Control computer usage.
- Secure all computers.
- Keep security software up-to-date.
- Stop unencrypted data transmission.
- Manage the use of portable media.
As you can see from the incidents listed above, this is a severe matter affecting even the largest of companies with elaborate security in place. Data breaches will only increase as hackers become more and more sophisticated.
Make a habit of checking your bank accounts and credit reports. Frequently monitor your personal information and statements. Keep your eyes open and be alert.
If you suspect you are a victim of a data breach, please contact Social Catfish to assist you in resolving your problem. They are equipped for the hackers and the damage they can cause.