Millions of online accounts have personal data stolen on a daily basis, including from large corporations that users believe to be trusted. Here are just 6 of the recent largest data breaches that you’ve likely been affected by and should cause you to check your accounts more often.
The internet age has increasingly large amounts of people throwing their personal data to corporations like confetti at a New Orleans parade. Even with the newly implemented data protection regulations of General Data Protection Regulation and growing laws on transparency and conservation of user data usage, personal data mishaps have been pounding companies heavily in the last couple of years. Unless you’ve been living under a media-blocking rock recently, you’ve likely heard of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal which is being linked to political controversy in the 2016 US Presidential elections, but what are the scandals you haven’t heard about? In what other ways has your own personal data likely been compromised?
Bypassing network security either remotely through things such as insecure backends or physically accessing a computer or network to steal files doesn’t necessarily take a cyber-criminal mastermind to figure it out, so data breaches happen on pretty much a daily basis. Here are seven of the biggest data breaches reported so far in 2018 that you may not have heard of and have likely directly impacted you.
Uber was already in some pretty hot water back in 2016/2017 over former CEO Travis Kalanick’s allegations of sexual harassment and allowing gender discrimination to culminate within the company. In an effort to avoid even further bad publicity, Uber paid hackers a ransom of $100,000 for 57 million user personal data following a breach in 2016, not telling the public until almost a year later in late 2017. Following the revelation of the data breach, uber offered their drivers a year of free credit monitoring but impacted customers were not offered the same benefit.
Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal
Under Armour’s app MyFitnessPal experienced a heavy blow earlier this year in February 2018, having around 150 million consumer account data impacted, including usernames, passwords, and email addresses. The health company first realized this breach on March 25th, and soon after sent all of its consumers emails and messages through the app’s messaging system informing consumers and requiring them to change their password information.
Soup, bread, and a side of getting your personal data stolen – Panera Bread made a debacle of itself in 2017 when it first got a report of a bug in its system in August of 2017 and then proceeded to ignore the report for another eight months. Following Dylan Houlihan, a security research, initially reporting the bug, the company dismissed the report as a scam – after 8 months of getting fed up, Houlihan publicly posted the bug to an article on Medium calling the restaurant giant out. Within the same day, the company, who claimed to not know of the bug, estimated about 10,000 accounts to have been affected, when the number remains inconclusive and could actually reach between 7 million to 37 million accounts. Victims of the data breach were customers who had ordered food from Panera’s website and stolen information includes the customers’ names, email and street addresses, birthdays, and the last four digits of their payment cards.
Facebook and politics go oh-so-well together, as Cambridge Analytica found out, used as a campaign tool to more directly target audiences by the Trump Administration during the 2016 Presidential Election. Over 87 million users had their personal information shared by Facebook to Cambridge Analytica and you could have easily been one of them. The scandal has prompted Cambridge Analytica to discontinue its business, caused the integrity of the 2016 election to be questioned, and warranted many statements by Facebook representatives and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself.
Speaking of Facebook, those lovely moments from a couple of years ago that you’ve shared through Timehop, an app that collects photos from social media to later be a reminiscent of the past for users, may have exposed you to a data breach. To be clear, those “moments” weren’t shared, but rather the company says 3.3 million records were compromised that included names, email addresses, phone numbers and DOBs. A grand total of 21 million accounts were compromised that included incomplete records including the aforementioned information.
Been to a concert lately? Ticketfly, a website that enables users to buy tickets for concerts and other events, was forced to shut its website down on May 31, 2018 due to a “cyber incident”. Following the shut down, it is believed that 26 million customers email addresses, phone numbers, and billing addresses were exposed as a result of the hacking. The website is currently back up with a section of the site devoted to informing users of the breach and their steps to ensure consumer data safety, such as requiring a password change and two-factor authentication.
Millions of accounts have their personal data exposed on a daily basis so its important to check the precautionary steps of the company you’re giving your personal information to and remain vigilant of your account. Regularly change your password and maybe even take an extra step by investing in credit monitoring systems such as Experian. Overall, don’t assume your personal data is completely safe, even with the large corporations that you think you should trust.
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