4.1. Privacy breaches and theft of data
What is data privacy breach?
- A data breach is an incident where information is stolen or taken from a system without the knowledge or authorization of the system’s owner. A small company or large organization may suffer a data breach.
- A privacy breach occurs when someone accesses information without permission. It starts with a security breach — penetrating a protected computer network — and ends with the exposure or theft of data. That data may include personally identifiable information such as your name, address, Social Security number, and credit card details.
What are your privacy risks?
- Privacy relates to any rights you have to control your personal information and how that information is used. Your information is in a lot of places. That includes government agencies, health care organizations, financial institutions, social network platforms, computer-app makers, and many other places.
- Your information has value. That’s why cybercriminals often target organizations where they can harvest personal data. They can use it to commit crimes like identity theft or sell it on the dark web.
- Another similarity between privacy breaches and data breaches? There’s not much you can do to prevent them. The security of your information is in someone else’s hands. Even so, there are things you can do to help protect yourself.
Video: The Dangers of a Data Breach – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kK902-ZvNM
How to prevent a data breach?
- Create complex passwords. Use different ones for each account, and change your passwords if a company you’ve recently interacted with gets hacked.
- Use multi-factor authentication when available. This allows access only after two or more pieces of evidence are presented—usually a password and a code that is sent to the user by phone, text or email during login.
- Shop with a credit card. You may have less liability for fraudulent credit card charges.
- Watch for fraud. If you receive a notice about the data breach, call the company to confirm that it’s legitimate, using a number you know to be valid rather than a number that may be listed on the notice.
- Guard against identity theft. Globally, 65% of data breaches result in identity theft, making it the most common outcome. If you become an identity theft victim, contact each credit card company to set up fraud alerts and freeze your accounts. Then get in touch with your local Social Security office for next steps.
- Set up account alerts. You may be able to receive notifications of suspicious purchases or those that exceed a certain dollar amount. This may give you a heads-up that you’ve been hacked.