Data breaches are a possible threat to any business, no matter how big or small and no matter what type of industry. In fact, since the Identity Theft Resource Center started tracking data breaches in 2005, almost every year has seen a record number of breaches and hacking events in everything from major retailers to mom-and-pop businesses.
News broke this week that an alleged data breach may have exposed the email accounts and passwords of millions of Yahoo users, resulting in the sale of their information online. What makes this an “alleged” data breach? The fact that Yahoo has yet to confirm it, and the fact that anyone can claim to have hacked and stolen personal information.
The latest in a growing list of major retail data breaches is the popular Cici’s Pizza chain, who announced that locations in seventeen states had suffered a data breach within the POS system. The result of this breach was that customers’ payment cards were compromised.
The Identity Theft Resource Center provides a number of services related to identity theft prevention and victim support. In order to do that job effectively, it’s important to track the numbers of data breaches each year and the numbers of victim records that have been compromised. But new findings, at least in one state-wide study, found that there were more data breach victims in that state than citizens.
With record setting numbers of data breaches happening each year, there’s an excellent chance that you will become a victim of lost or stolen personal data—if you haven’t already, that is. One of the chief concerns security experts have in this climate of hacking and fraud attempts is that consumers will stop taking the threat so seriously. So what do you need to do if you’re a victim in a data breach?
When news breaks of any major event, scammers go to work in an attempt to steal money or personal identifiable information from their victims. Literally within hours of the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, scammers were out soliciting donations to help the relief effort. The same is true of the earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010, the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, and so on.
No matter where it occurs, “suspicious activity” is almost never a good thing and it’s important to take it seriously. Whether it’s your own bank statement or a major company’s credit card payment system, acting quickly can minimize the damage and put you back in control.