At home, we try to do everything to protect our online identity and security. Simple things like using a good password, keeping your devices up to date, and not clicking on random links or attachments.
But as we have seen this year, all that work has been for nothing it seems because of major security breaches at companies that were careless. Equifax anyone?
Another company has left details on millions of households wide open, on the internet.
120 million American households exposed
The data was kept in an Amazon Web Services storage "bucket" by marketing company Alteryx. They claim to be the leader in self-service data analytics. I'm not so sure about that now. They may be a leader in data collection, but they're a loser in data security!
Anyone who has an account with Amazon Web Services, which is free to anyone, by the way, could potentially access the data. The company has several marketing products they sell including data on households.
It's believed Alteryx bought the data from Experian, one of Equifax's competing credit bureaus. Clearly, your information is up for sale to the highest bidder or any bidder really and then their carelessness leads to your credit chaos!
What was exposed?
Unfortunately, a lot. There were 248 different data fields that included addresses, phone numbers, ethnicity, personal interests, hobbies, income, mortgage info, and how many kids are in your household. That's a whole lot of private information!
The company said no names were included (uhh...right) or any other personal identifying information (uhhh...sure) that would put you at risk of identity theft. But I don't buy it!
Are these people amateurs? If the data had addresses and phone numbers, it's easy to find out who lives there with just a simple Google search!
Since the massive data breaches that Equifax had earlier this year, lawmakers have been asked to make better laws to protect our information. The U.S. is the only country that doesn't require organizations that handle personal data to protect it! What?
Well, here we go again, time for us to bear the brunt of their massive mistake. Monitor your credit accounts, make sure you have a credit monitoring system to make sure no one's using your personal information, you can even consider a credit freeze to prevent new credit from being issued. As far as the even more personal information including hobbies, mortgage, kids - it's time to reach out to Congress to do something about it!
See the world get hacked in real time
Every day, the world is under a constant threat of cyberattacks. Data breaches, spam emails, identity theft - there are probably millions of attacks going off at any given minute. Track them live with this cool site.