Since 2019, the world has been fighting a global pandemic, COVID-19, which has seen many lose their lives from the virus. Even though scientists have uncovered a viable vaccine, the menace seems to be far from over. Unfortunately, the world is not facing this pandemic alone.
The world has seen an underlying pandemic of massive data breaches affecting individuals and corporations alike.
Over the years, news of data breaches has been on the rise with every advancement in technology. The levels of cyber-attacks increase with an increase in data brought about by technology.
The Extent Of A Data Breach Menace
News of Russian-related hacks compromising people’s private information, including data from their houses, has dominated the airwaves. So much to the extent of interfering with states’ national elections. Though these allegations have been rubbished, there is enough evidence suggesting otherwise.
The data breach crisis affects nations, cities, and corporations. Information robbed is usually offered back to the owner in exchange for a ransom. These data breaches can affect anyone, small and big corporations, locally and globally. To be precise, no one is safe from a potential data breach.
Data breaches often involve unlawful and unauthorized access to resources and computer files. Devices and networks are also vulnerable areas of attack.
How Does Data Breach Occur?
Hacking is not only done by individuals; countries alike can carry out these attacks. Anyone with computer knowledge and proficiency in IT can get private data without consent.
In the case of a company or a corporation, an employee could be a source of a data breach. If they access forbidden sites, this could be a gateway for data breaches. Financially, this can be costly to an organization.
Take the case of FireEye.
A top cybersecurity organization was hacked, and cyber-crooks stole useful PC tools. The criminals could use these tools to carry out further attacks.
In essence, data breaches occur in different ways, and this calls for vigilance when dealing with delicate information. Sometimes hackers, through phishing emails, attempt to dupe individuals into downloading malicious software into their systems. They can do this via emails or other ways like phone numbers.
Then, following access to the target computer’s mainframe, they can confiscate any data they need.
Every employee needs to be keen when handling company data. Employees must also be extra vigilant with the emails and links they interact with on the internet. Nuwber is one of the ways to verify people’s identities online and see if they are who they purport to be.
It is, therefore, easy to identify scammers and cyberbullies right away. Once you identify malicious emails, make sure to mark them as spam or escalate them to your system administrators. Again, any links in the email ought to be permanently blocked.
What Steps Can You Take To Prevent Data Breaches?
Whether you agree with it or not, data breaches affect both individuals and companies. None is safe from these technical vulnerabilities.
However, there is always something you can do to reduce your risk and exposure to the attacks.
1. Use Unique Passwords And Change Them Regularly
Cyber-crooks can easily access your passwords, but a strong password can prevent them from accessing your private information. Using a 10-digit solid secret code, as experts suggest, can help secure login credentials.
Additionally, one can incorporate case-sensitive letters, characters, and numbers. Again, experts claim that using various account passwords could keep one safe from breaches. On the other hand, the passwords could be a lot to memorize.
LastPass, in this case, can help you keep track of your passwords on any device. On the same note, changing passwords frequently is also recommended. This is especially true in the case of an attempted data breach.
2. Use Secure Sites Only
Sometimes, you might get links to an e-commerce site you haven’t visited before. These links lure you with lucrative offers and deals to fake online retailers. Therefore, it is critical to ensure every website you use has a secure URL.
To confirm the safety of any website, check at the ‘HTTPS’: if it lacks an ‘S’ at the end, then it’s not secure.
You should log out of such sites as quickly as you can. It is on such unsecured sites that hackers will find their way through to your data. Otherwise, if you’re not sure about the website’s security, then connect via Virtual Private Network (VPN).
VPNs keep hackers away, especially when using vulnerable connections like public Wi-Fi. While free VPNs can help you keep your data safe, consider premium ones with no ads. The top VPNs also have a more robust bandwidth.
What To Do In Case Of Data Breach Attacks
There are several key measures one can take in the event of a data breach attack.
First of all, acting fast could save one from losing more data. It is vital to note that a data breach on one account creates a risk for other accounts. So, in this case, you need to change all your accounts’ passwords, including PIN codes and security questions.
If the data breach involves financial accounts, make an effort to reach your financial institution ASAP. One may also consider putting a credit freeze on their bank account. It is the easiest way to prevent hackers from doing anything with the financial account they have acquired. Again, a hacker can use credit card data to take loans. Checking reports regularly can help uncover when someone uses your details to obtain loans.
You can also contact three of the most popular credit bureaus; Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. These bureaus can assist you in placing a fraud alert on your bank accounts. Hence, denying hackers the opportunity to use your details to open new accounts.
By following these steps, you improve your safety from potential data breach cases in the future. While no one can be completely secure from these attacks, taking positive measures helps secure critical data.
As technology keeps changing daily, it is difficult for both companies and individuals to keep their data safe. Moreover, hackers keep developing sophisticated ways of retrieving it. Therefore, the consequences of a data breach can be immense with a long-lasting impact. Securing your private data and any sensitive information should be a top priority for all.