The Worst Year for Data Breaches
The year 2019 has had its ups and downs so far and being that it is almost October means the year is coming to an end. But one of the worst things to happen to consumers this year is the data breaches that companies have been experiencing. This year’s data breaches are up 54% compared to prior years, and that is just from the first half of 2019. A total of 4.1 billion records were breached in the first six months of 2019. More than 3,800 data breaches were reported, and the records that have been exposed are up by 52%. In only 8 out of the 3,800 data breaches, 3.2 billion records had been exposed. This means about 80% of records that were exposed in 2019 happened during the first half of the year.
The largest security breach had 85% of the records exposed and was responsible for about two-thirds of the breaches that were reported. This was just in the first quarter of the year and included the release of about a billion names, email addresses, and even more personally identifiable data.
The second-largest security breach from the second quarter of 2019 included exposure of personal information in 885 million records. This came from First American Financial, a business for real estate transactions, that was hacked. The third-largest security breach was from a Mexican based company called Cultura Colectiva and involved a database that was not being configured correctly, which ended up leaking about 540 million Facebook user’s information.
A lot of the information that got leaked tended to be passwords and email addresses for specific accounts. These types of records are high targets for hackers; in just the first half of the year alone 70% of data that was hacked were email addresses, and 64% were email passwords. It is not difficult for hackers to take advantage of poor passwords or weak databases and get the personal information that they are looking to steal.
The breaches that left databases accessible to third parties and were not protected in the first place accounted for only 149 of the breaches this year, but it included over 3.2 billion of the records that were hacked. This situation is on the companies that failed to protect their user’s information, and now that information is out there on the internet for anyone to get their hands on. This is dangerous for consumers that bank online and those that have credit cards or debit cards stored in their various shopping accounts. A lot of that information can be easily hacked nowadays, once they get your username and password, it is easy to finish the job by stealing your account information. They can also buy things without your permission, which can cause you a huge headache and be a very big hassle to deal with.
What Does This Mean for Me?
A lot of records have been breached this year, so you might want to check your financial institutions and make sure you do not have any unauthorized transactions. It is also important to check your online accounts for any suspicious activity and set up two-factor authentications if available. This means your account is a bit more secure, by making any unrecognized browser or internet address (IP) get flagged and making you put in a code sent via your mobile device. You can also have it set up to need an authenticator app on your phone that generates a new code every few seconds to a minute. This makes your account a bit more secure compared to those without this feature added.
However, your data may still be at risk if you were involved in these security breaches from the first half of the year. You need to make sure you change your passwords, update email addresses, and find ways to remove any personal information online that you did not authorize its sharing. This can include your name, email address, mailing address, phone number, and more.
There are a lot of ways to remove your personal data online, but some of them can be time-consuming. Especially if you are doing it yourself, and you do not know when new information of yours gets shared. Constantly checking google for your personal data and asking for its removal can be a never-ending battle that, well, never ends.
Go ahead and google your name. Google any personally identifiable information about yourself. You should see quite a few hits on your information; sometimes there will be thousands of pages about your information alone. Some of it may be Facebook or other social media you signed up for, whereas other information you will have no idea where it came from. This can be stressful and disconcerting to know all of your information is out there for anyone to see.
How Do I Fix This?
Now that you have found yourself and your information online, how do you go about getting rid of it? There are two different ways. You can go through each link and ask for your information to be removed, and check google and other search engines periodically every day. This can not only be time-consuming, but it may be seen as an impossible and daunting task.
But there is another way to do this. Use a data removal company that will take care of all of this for you. They remove your personal information that is already out there and monitor the information that pops up in search engines and other websites. Once that information shows up in their system, they take steps to get it removed right away.
There may be a few of those companies out there, but how do you know which one you should choose? Well, one of the best services out there comes from Wiperts.com. Wiperts are data removal experts; they remove your personal data from the web that already exists. They also remove any new data that may pop up without your permission. How it works is you sign up for their paid services, let them know what information you want to have removed from the internet, and they get to it. They remove any of the requested information from online and monitor that information for removal if it pops back up again on different websites.
With the high probability this year has shown for data breaches, using a service as Wiperts offers is a very important step to keeping your information safe. Wiperts removes your personal information, and they also take steps to ensure your information does not appear. Whenever your personal data is found, they get it removed as soon as possible.
Some companies that have your personal data, such as people search type websites, make you jump through hoops just to get it removed. However, using wiperts.com’s services, you do not have to hassle with those hoops, Wiperts does it for you. This kind of process can be time-consuming to do it on your own, so why not let Wiperts do it for you?