Most of the time, data breaches occur when cybercriminals steal names, email addresses, user names, credit cards, and other personal information. These data thieves and hackers attack industries on a daily basis, and security is essential to safeguarding your data. The threat of data breaches is real, and you need to know why they happen, the consequences, and how to keep your data safe.
Why Data Breaches Happen
Personal and confidential data can open pathways to theft for hackers and cybercriminals. In most cases, cybercriminals want to steal data to access bank accounts, steal identities, use credit cards fraudulently, and even sell the information for profit. Often, data that has been stolen winds up on the dark web, which is used to traffic illegal goods.
There are different ways that cybercriminals breach data, including:
- Stolen or hacked passwords
- Poorly designed software
- Social engineering
- Device theft
- Phishing schemes
A data breach can happen to an individual or an entire corporation. As the use of the Internet and digital products continues to increase, the number of cybercriminals will grow along with it.
The Consequences of a Data Breach
The consequences of a data breach can range from an inconvenience to turning your world upside down. Cybercriminals and hackers can create fake profiles, open credit cards in your name, access your photos on social media, and more.
For a business, the consequences can be dire. A company may need to make legal settlements with individuals whose information was compromised, and they may lose business as their reputation is harmed. The country that experiences the most data breaches is the United States.
How to Keep Your Data Safe
It is difficult to protect your personal data from an attack on a business, but there are measures that you can take to monitor and protect your personal information.
- Use strong passwords
- Monitor your financial accounts
- Use secure websites that have SSL certificates
- Use identity theft protection
- Look out for phishing scams
- Don’t click links in emails from unknown senders