Every day, thousands of users have their information stolen. Because of this, it’s more important than ever to know what a data breach is, how it happens, and how to stop it.
Most websites store information about their users in some way. When they have a data breach, it is hard to stop the spread of the information that has been compromised. A data breach can have terrible effects, like ruining your online reputation for good or even letting someone steal your identity.
A password breach could cause crypto traders to lose a lot of money. Because of this, it’s important to learn more about data breaches and how to keep your passwords and money safe.
How information gets stolen
There are many ways and reasons why data can be leaked. Most of the time, they are caused by someone bad outside the organization, but they can also be caused by someone inside the organization.
When a data breach happens within an organization, it’s usually because of an accident, a mistake, or a weakness in the system. But they can also be done on purpose by someone inside the company. This is called a “insider job.”
It’s called a “deliberate attack” when a data breach happens because someone wants to hurt the company. Methods like ransomware, phishing, social engineering, SQL injection, and brute-force attacks may be used in these planned attacks.
The most common reason for a data breach is stolen credentials
Not surprisingly, most data breaches are caused by stolen or leaked credentials.
When a password gets stolen or leaked, it can be used by people who shouldn’t have it to get into personal or business accounts. Cybercriminals can get passwords by using keylogger programs, phishing, social engineering, brute-force attacks, and sometimes just guessing.
Users and businesses can lose a lot if their passwords are stolen, because cybercriminals can get into their accounts and cause big financial losses.
The biggest data breaches of 2022
Last year, there have been a lot of big data leaks that put the information of millions of customers at risk. Here are some of the most important things that happened last year:
- On January 17, 2022, hackers broke into the wallets of almost 500 crypto traders on crypto.com and stole $18 million in bitcoin and $15 million in Ethereum.
- The hacker group Lapsus$ broke into the authentication company Okta on March 21, 2022. This affected 2.5% of the company’s customers.
- On March 23, 2022, hackers stole $625 million worth of cryptocurrency from the people who made Axie Infinity.
- On July 21, 2022, hackers broke into the phone numbers and email addresses of about 5.4 million Twitter users and put them up for sale.
How can people who steal information use it?
Hackers can use stolen data in many ways, some of which are worse than others. What criminals do with stolen data largely depends on whether it’s business or personal.
- Sell it to make money. Hackers may sell stolen information on the dark web. Experian says that criminals can sell information for anywhere from $1 to $2,000.
- Steal money or lie about your finances. If someone steals your information, they might be able to get into your bank or investment accounts and steal your money.
- Steal someone else’s name. Hackers could use stolen information to open new credit cards or file a tax return in the name of the victim.
- Cause damage on social media. Cybercriminals may also use stolen information to get into the victim’s social media accounts. They might share posts as the victim or ask their friends and followers for money by pretending to be the victim.
Most of the time, the victim will have to jump through hoops to get their life back to how it was, like calling the police, changing all of their login information, and telling their family and friends.
Theft of corporate information can also do a lot of damage to a company’s reputation.
When a major data breach happens, people may lose faith in an organization’s ability to keep their information safe. This loss of trust can hurt a business’s reputation in the long run in a way that can’t be fixed.
Of course, stolen corporate information can also lead to big financial losses, like in the cases of the data breaches listed above. Overall, data breaches are very dangerous, whether they happen to an individual or to a business.
How to stop a security breach
People and businesses can stop data breaches in a number of ways, such as:
- Putting out new versions of software.
- Keeping an eye out for phishing attempts.
- Documents with personal or financial information should be shredded.
- Only use websites that are safe.
- Taking a look at credit reports.
But since weak or stolen passwords cause most data breaches, let’s look at how to make your passwords stronger.
Improve your password security
For stopping data breaches, password security is very important. Strong passwords are much harder to figure out and will do a better job of protecting your accounts. Here are some ways to keep your passwords safe:
- Make up your own passwords with at least 12 characters.
- Use both small letters and capital letters, as well as a mix of letters and numbers.
- Include at least one character that isn’t normal. The harder it is for hackers to guess or crack your password, the longer and more complicated it is.
- Keep your passwords safe. Using a reliable password manager could help you always make strong, uncrackable passwords and store them in a safe, encrypted place. Using a password manager can help you avoid making mistakes and keep your accounts safer.
Tips for keeping crypto wallets from getting hacked
As crypto trading gets more popular, there are also more data breaches that involve crypto. Strong passwords are the first line of defense for your crypto wallets. Here are some things you can do to keep your cryptocurrency wallets safe:
- Make your passwords hard. Hackers have easy access to malicious tools that can be used for brute force attacks and guessing passwords. Hackers may be able to get into your crypto trading account and empty your wallet if your passwords aren’t strong enough.
- Use unique passwords. Use a different password for each account. Because of the risk of third-party data breaches, it is also important to have unique passwords. If one email account gets hacked, all shared passwords could be at risk.
- Use a program to keep track of your passwords. With a password manager, you can keep track of your long, strong passwords. You can store, autofill, and save as many strong passwords as you want with these helpful security tools. Your passwords are easy to get to on any device, but you are the only one who can use them.