We are constantly telling you how cybercriminals are causing havoc. They use various hacking methods like brute force, social engineering, and software exploits to steal personal data.
The seemingly countless hacking techniques have led to some massive data breaches recently. Now, a breach has been discovered that exposed nearly 34 million Americans' personal information.
Has your personal data been leaked?
Security researcher Troy Hunt discovered a massive 52.2GB CSV file from a commercial corporate database has been leaked online. Everyone impacted is from the U.S.
Hunt said, "In 2016, a list of over 33 million individuals in corporate America sourced from Dun & Bradstreet's NetProspex service was leaked online. D&B believe the targeted marketing data was lost by a customer who purchased it from them. It contained extensive personal and corporate information including names, email addresses, job titles and general information about the employer."
Here is a list of the top 10 companies with the most impacted people in the breach:
- DOD (Department of Defense) Cce: 101,013
- United States Postal Service: 88,153
- AT&T Inc: 67,382
- Walmart Stores Inc.: 55,421
- CVS Health Corporation: 40,739
- The Ohio State University: 38,705
- Citigroup Inc.: 35,292
- Wells Fargo Bank, National Association: 34,928
- Kaiser Foundation Hospitals: 34,805
- International Business Machines Corporation: 33,412
The leaked database is used by marketers to create targeted ads. It has yet to be determined who is to blame for the leak. If the information gets into the hands of scammers, it could lead to all kinds of malicious activity, including phishing scams.
How you need to respond after a data breach
- Investigate your email address - Have I Been Pwned is an easy-to-use site with a database of information that hackers and malicious programs have released publicly. It monitors hacker sites and collects new data every five to 10 minutes about the latest hacks and exposures.
- Change your password - Whenever you hear news of a data breach, it's a good idea to change your account passwords. Read this article to help you create hack-proof passwords.
- Close unused accounts - Here's an easy way to manage all of your online accounts at once.
- Beware of phishing scams - Scammers will try and piggyback on huge breaches like this. They will create phishing emails, pretending to be the affected company, hoping to get victims to click on malicious links that could lead to more problems. Take our phishing IQ test to see if you can spot a fake email.
- Manage passwords - Many people use the same username and password on multiple sites. This is a terrible practice and you should never do it. If you're using the same credentials on multiple sites, change them to make them unique. If you have too many accounts to remember, you could always use a password manager.
- Keep an eye on your bank accounts - You should be frequently checking your bank statements, looking for suspicious activity. If you see anything that seems strange, report it immediately.
- Check email security settings - Make sure the email account associated with the hacked site has updated security settings.
- Have strong security software - Protecting your gadgets with strong security software is important. It's the best defense against digital threats.