The Worst Data Breaches of 2014

Earlier this week, I shared with you just some of the worst data breaches seen up to now in 2014. As far as awards shows go, these are not exactly the Oscars, and one may wonder why anyone would even rate the severity. In the end, if news sites glorify how data breaches and damaging identity theft can be, will not that just prompt more hackers into trying to one-up each other and commit offenses that are even worse?

Credit-Card-FraudIt is a valid issue, to be sure, and certainly no one wishes to support this sort of action that is unlawful. However, as identity fraud and cyber theft become more and bigger often-occurring offenses, it’s becoming more and more necessary to shed light on those crimes. Up until very recently, most firms were dismissive of the danger posed by hackers and did not take information breaches seriously. In the prior year, these cyber attacks have skyrocketed in severity and rate, regrettably showcasing a dearth of proper awareness can undermine attempts to safeguard companies, government agencies and also the average American from falling victim to identity theft and data breaches .

So in the interest of helping people learn which steps to take so that you can better protect themselves from ID theft we’ve compiled some advice on two more of the worst data breaches of the year and spreading the word some more:

  • Feedly: This news aggregation site was struck with three consecutive Digital Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks to extort money from the company in exchange. Only one day before the Feedly assaults, EverNote – a similar company that works in conjunction with Feedly – was likewise hit with a DDoS. Whether the two attacks were joined is still unclear, though both sites were able to rapidly restore service after refusing the hackers’ ransom demands.
  • Montana Health Department: The Treasure State’s department of health reported in May that the bureau had suffered a security violation, possibly showing the names, addresses, birth certificates, Social Security Numbers and medical records of up to 1.3 million residents. Even more troubling was the undeniable fact that the data breach happened in July of last year, but was not found until 10 months after. Consequently, it remains unknown who had been responsible for this cyber theft, in addition to the exact extent of the damage. It’s also still unsure in the event the information sold on the black market or was stolen by the hackers.

Episodes such as these are stark reminders that lots of data violations are just out of our hands. In the end, there’s very little – if anything – the ordinary man can do to ensure that the firm that hackers frequent is investing in the most effective cyber security protection.  Another sad part of these major retailer data breaches is that the companies are then forced to provide a credit monitoring service free of charge for all of the potential victims.  It’s unfortunate for the victims, because the retailers, in an effort to cut costs, generally use a less than comprehensive monitoring company, so the end user continues to get the short end of the stick.

But rather than worry about what you can’t command, begin taking some proactive steps toward what you can command instead. For instance, consider safeguarding your own personal advice online with a password management system like SafeConnex.

With SafeConnex’s password vault abilities, you can not only supply more comprehensive protection for your various social media, e-mail and online banking passwords, but may also store these phrases into just one suitable place (with an equally suitable back-up saved to your own hard drive). This way, in the likely event you ever only forget one of your passwords one day, you do not need to scour through scores of files to find it – quickly and you can only easily with SafeConnex.


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