What is a data breach and what are the dangers of a data breach?
Now that the new year has started, we will work en masse with good intentions. The fireworks goggles can go back in the closet for another year. That doesn’t mean our safety isn’t important. The explosion of fireworks is not the only danger.
With confidence, millions of people give their data to a company with the expectation that it will be well protected. Unfortunately, this regularly goes wrong and data ends up on the street. There is then a data breach. But what is a data breach and how can you protect yourself against the dangers of a data breach? You can read that in this article!
What is a data breach?
Data leaks are a serious problem that unfortunately occurs more often than they should. A data breach occurs when personal data is shared, lost, changed or destroyed when this was not the intention.
Companies have the critical task of protecting your data as well as possible. This task is not always taken seriously, resulting in data leaks. You not only lose confidence in a company because of this but there is also a whole lot of danger lurking. But what are the dangers of a data breach?
Am I the victim of a data breach?
When you have become a victim, you naturally want to know this as soon as possible, but how do you find out whether your data is also involved in a data breach?
If there is a ‘high risk’ for those involved in a data breach, there is a reporting obligation to report a data breach to all parties involved. In this case, you will be told by the company where your data was leaked that you are also one of the victims.
It is not always mandatory for companies to report a data breach to data subjects. Fortunately, you can enter your e-mail or telephone number via the website haveibeenpwnd.com and you will see whether your data has been released in a data breach.
Although it is always wise to protect yourself well online, it is certainly wise to take extra measures if your data has been released in a data breach. This way you can protect yourself against the dangers of a data breach.
What are the dangers of a data breach?
Due to a data breach, those involved often lose confidence in a company. It is not a pleasant feeling that your data is in the hands of an unknown person. You don’t know who it is and what they want to do with your data. There are several dangers of a data breach that you should watch out for and take measures to take.
These are common dangers of a data breach:
- Phishing. A common form of scam is phishing. Criminals pretend to be someone else. To appear as credible as possible, criminals need data. Data that is released in a data breach is also interesting. With this data, criminals can deceive you. Sometimes this information is not enough. That is why criminals regularly look for even more information. For example, by using a VPN, criminals hardly get access to this data.
- Passwords. We, humans, are creatures of habit. That is why we often use the same password for multiple accounts. Super handy because you only have to remember one password. Until your data is released in a data breach and criminals have the key to all your accounts.
- Identity fraud. Criminals like to pretend to be someone else. That’s one thing for sure. You are also an interesting thinking cloak for criminals. We call this identity fraud. If your data is released in a data breach, criminals often have everything they need to hide behind your identity. Just like with a phishing attack, criminals sometimes need some extra information about you. Therefore, protect yourself well against criminals snooping around on your data.
- Scam. You often do not expect people to have access to certain information about you if you have not provided it yourself. Take the tax authorities, for example. Criminals regularly send messages on behalf of the tax authorities in which they name certain data about you that only the tax authorities can know. Therefore, you do exactly what you are asked to do. But beware… nothing is what it seems.
Protect yourself against the dangers of a data breach
Data leaks can cause serious problems. It is therefore a good idea to protect yourself against the dangers of a data breach. There are various measures you can take to make it as difficult as possible for criminals.
You can do these three things to protect yourself against the dangers of a data breach:
- Multi-factor authentication. Do you use the same password for all your accounts? Then multi-factor authentication is a tool for you. Multi-factor authentication adds an extra step to the deposit process. In addition to the normal login details such as a username and password, you also enter a code that you receive via text message, for example.
- Use a VPN. With a VPN you prevent criminals from watching your internet traffic. If a criminal needs just a little more information to build your profile, he can snoop around in your internet traffic. This is a thing of the past with a VPN.
- Pay attention. If you receive a digital request to leave certain information or to make a payment, judge carefully whether or not this is wise. Before you know it you will make a criminal richer.
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