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Significant data breaches

Written by Itziar

A data breach is a cybersecurity incident that involves unauthorized access to confidential information such as medical records or financial information. This class of malicious activity is one of the most common forms of cybercrime that equally affects companies and individuals, and its consequences are significant.

The increase in data breaches over the last few years is alarming, and it's only sometimes evident that it has happened. Millions of victims may not even know what has happened to them.

When your data is stolen, criminals can do a lot with your information. They can go from accessing your email, PayPal, or Instagram accounts to more serious breaches, including online banking and taking out credits.

Identity fraud is one of the biggest growing cybercrimes, and it cannot be easy to find out that it has happened. Unlike a direct theft of your money, something you will see, you won't necessarily notice that someone has stolen your information. Simple data, such as your name, address, date of birth, or email address, can be used by criminals to gather more information about you. This can lead criminals to obtain loans, mortgages, phone contracts, or other forms of credit in your name.

A data breach can cause financial loss and affect operations, and in a company's case, it can damage its reputation. The cost of a problem of this nature can be very high and challenging to identify.

There have been several data leaks in history, some of them are the following:

  • A recent data leak was the one that LinkedIn suffered in 2021. The data of 700 million users was for sale on a dark web forum. Around 92% of users were affected, and email addresses, phone numbers and locations were compromised.
  • Data from more than 500 million Facebook users emerged from a 2019 leak, including email addresses and phone numbers, which were posted on a hacker forum.
  • In 2014, eBay suffered an attack that revealed a list of accounts with names, dates of birth, addresses and passwords. Around 145 million users were affected. According to official information, the breach was achieved by attackers who obtained the credentials of three office workers, gained access to the network, and was discovered 229 days after the incident.
  • Yahoo was also severely affected in 2013. All the accounts they had in that year were compromised.

To prevent and protect the information, a measure that users and organizations can take is the double factor authentication system implemented to protect users' credentials and the resources the user can access. Any organization or individual interested in protecting their data should utilize the 2FA method to ensure that their assets cannot be accessed without proper identity verification.

Another measure can be to use an anonymous VPN service every time you surf the Internet to safeguard your online presence. Personal VPN services allow you to securely connect to the Internet from anywhere and enhance data security with VPN identity protection. This will allow you to safely and anonymously browse the Internet without the fear of someone potentially spying on your activity or hacking your data.

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