Anyone who’s familiar with the popular “professional world” social media site LinkedIn has probably already heard the news of their data breach. Hackers reportedly gained unauthorized access to millions of user names and passwords; this is slightly more alarming than a typical credit card breach due to the fact that LinkedIn users are representing their professional lives on the site. The potential for harm to their businesses and their reputations is quite real.
An unfortunate computer user mistake led to one school administrator resigning from her job and more than 1,000 people having very personal information inadvertently shared with dozens of people. Last December, a Montana high school assistant principal attached what she thought were meeting notes in an email to around thirty parents, but the attachment actually contained identifying data, medical records, discipline records, and even mental health data on more than one thousand current and former students of that school.
Back in 2013, news of a data breach affecting a major retailer took consumers by surprise. Industry watchers, law enforcement, even legal teams had a vested interest in what went wrong, how the victims would recover, and how to prevent it in the future. Not long after, more retailers were hit, leading many experts to wonder if there was a connection.
O’Charley’s restaurant chain is the latest victim of a restaurant data breach, according to a report from the company. After one of their security tools alerted them to possible unauthorized activity, the company hired a cybersecurity firm to investigate. In early April, the firm discovered tampering within the company’s point-of-sale credit card machines in several of the restaurant’s locations.
In what is possibly one of the most embarrassing data breaches in recent history, 37 million account holders on “hookup” site AshleyMadison.com woke up to the devastating news last August that hackers had infiltrated the website and released the members’ names online.
The Home Depot data breach might seem like yesterday’s news to some people, which is understandable considering it happened almost two years ago. Of course, plenty of other big-name breaches have since made headlines over the past few years. But the aftermath of an event like that one isn’t so easy to get over, especially for people who experienced significant financial fallout from the event.
The recent increase in data breaches has many consumers thinking twice about where they do business, where they share their personal information, and how they monitor their finances and credit. But the reality of the changing identity theft landscape is that the “old ways” of identity theft and data breaches are still a threat, even if they’re not as newsworthy as hacking or cybercrimes.