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What Is A Data Breach And How To Prevent It

 

Data breaches are not just temporary errors. It causes huge losses to the organization. Let’s find out what is a data breach and how to prevent it from happening.

The reliance on technology gets heavier. Thus, cyberattacks have become increasingly common and costly.

As we have mentioned earlier, breaches cause huge damages to organizations. No organization is safe from this one – from the government to individuals. Hackers attack everyone regardless of their size. They get to you via the Internet, Bluetooth, text messages, and many more ways that some can’t even imagine.

Many people don’t give much attention to cybersecurity. Furthermore, users can prevent a data breach if they will strictly uphold security measures even in the smallest ways. Since most people seem unaware of security threats, we’ll explain to you in this article what is a data breach.

What Is A Data Breach?

A data breach exposes sensitive information to unauthorized persons. Furthermore, hackers share exposed files without the owner’s knowledge and permission. Data breaches don’t only happen to large organizations. It can happen to anyone. Moreover, stolen sensitive data include:

  • Credit card numbers
  • Customer data
  • Employees’ info
  • Trade secrets
  • National security matters

The recorded data from January 2005 to April 2015 shows that personal identifiable information (PII) was the most stolen type of data. Furthermore, financial data came in second.

Why do data breaches occur?

Breaches generally happen because of weaknesses in technology and user behavior. New technological products and services are released with minimal security testing. Furthermore, many “smart home” products lack encryption. As a result, hackers take advantage of their weaknesses.

Some of more reasons include

  • Weak passwords. This type of password makes data more prone to unauthorized exposure. That is because it makes it easier for hackers to guess. Furthermore, passwords containing whole words or phrases opens opportunities for hackers. Experts advise using complex passwords.
  • Insider leak. A trusted person with authority betrays his/her company by providing access to unauthorized individuals.
  • Loss or theft. Losing devices greatly increases the chances of breaches. Moreover, devices such as laptops and hard drives must be protected at all costs.
  • Drive-by downloads. Simply visiting a compromised website exposes your data at risk. Furthermore, visiting these webpages enables you to unintentionally download a virus or malware. Moreover, a drive-by download takes advantage of devices with outdated or flawed security measures.

These are just some of the many reasons why data breaches occur. Yet, the actual breach method in some cases is unknown or undisclosed. 

How To Prevent Getting Victimized By Breaches

Everyone must do their part in preventing breaches. Here are some practices that contribute to strengthening security.

  • Use complex and unique passwords for each of your online accounts. Managing these passwords may present challenges. However, products such as LastPass and Norton Password Manager can help you with that.
  • Patch systems and networks accordingly. Install software and security updates as soon as they are available.
  • Keep track of your banking receipts. Check your bank accounts regularly for unfamiliar activity.
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