If you say passwords, think again.
Firewalls? Not always.
Cutting-edge technology? Sorry!
The truth is, once you pass your personal information over to a business or organization—which we all do—there’s virtually nothing you can do to keep it 100% secure.
A recent Senate report gives an unfortunate glimpse into why data breaches are so common, and how even our Federal Government is guilty of exposing your sensitive personal information to malicious cybercriminals.
Where do data breaches happen?
Raise your hand if you’ve interacted with one of these organizations:
- Department of Homeland Security
- Department of State
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Education
- Social Security Administration
This being the case, you’d think these organizations would be the model example for security best practices. According to the report, which underlined several security flaws in major government agencies, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Even with the best cyber security practices in place, the risk is always there. No business or organization is immune—you’ve probably recognized the companies you interact with every day, like Yahoo, Target, Uber and Anthem, being linked with some of the biggest data breaches to date.
Poor Data Security
So, what went wrong? The federal agencies that displayed poor data security saw:
- Unauthorized access to data
- Outdated and/or unsecure operating systems and servers
- Delayed and/or untimely IT security updates
How do data breaches happen?
Poor (and preventable) tech practices, like the ones above, are the weaknesses cybercriminals look for.
Security oversights make info vulnerable to data breaches—when any unauthorized person gets access to a data source, whether it be a cybercriminal hacking into the system, or an employee sneaking onto a restricted computer. The majority of data breaches are attacked via software, but can also stem from networks and people (whether unauthorized or by error).
The information compromised can range from your name and address all the way to your social security number and date of birth.
Once your personal information is compromised, it’s not long before it ends up on the dark web – where it can live for years and be misused over and over again.
Data Theft Protection
If the report shows us anything, it’s that data breaches are going to happen.
In 2019, we can’t avoid interacting with businesses and organizations that need our information (unless you turn Amish—in which case, hey—more power to you). But once we hand over our data, we also can’t assume that it’s kept safe. In fact, we should assume it grows legs and scurries far, far away.
It’s kind of a catch-22, isn’t it?
That’s why it’s up to us to be vigilant against data breaches, cyber crimes and identity theft. We must protect ourselves and our families against the misuse of our own personal information—because if we don’t, no one else will.
447 Million Records Were Exposed in Data Breaches Last Year.
Know if your information has been compromised with IDP Breach Alerts and Response Service.