The Equifax credit data breach In September 2017 alerted many consumers to the dangers that their information could be sold to nefarious people on the dark web who will use it for their illegal purposes. Almost two years after the breach, who perpetrated it and where the information went is still unknown. Some cybersecurity experts believe that that a foreign government was behind the breach and used the information to spy on the United States. What consumers should do about this situation is still unclear, although the general consensus is to protect your information as much as possible.
Data Breaches Continue to Happen
While a data breach on the sweeping level of the one at Equifax has not occurred, breaches continue to happen almost daily. The list of retail companies that have been hit by data breaches continues to grow and while what has occurred is not as serious as the Equifax situation, every time one of these happens, several million consumers are usually affected. While the major credit bureaus and retail companies have begun to take measures to protect their customers, they usually only do so after the breaches occur.
Of course, we’ve learned much from the Equifax breach. However, just where and when cybercriminals will hit next is hard to predict. Although a number of state governments have enacted laws that require companies located in their states to take stricter measures against cybercriminals and compensate consumers in some manner when a breach occurs, the rules are haphazard. In addition, consumers shouldn’t expect much help from the federal government, either, as little legislation has been enacted other than allowing consumers to freeze their credit reports if they have been affected by a data breach.
Maintain a Proactive Stance
The best route for consumers is to assume that they will be affected if they haven’t already. Data breach statistics continue to climb. The 2018 calendar year was the worst one on record for data breaches. Toyota and Walmart have reported significant data breaches in 2019. Look at it this way, estimates indicate that data breaches affect 214 consumers daily. Will you be one of them?
Never assume that your data is safe. Frequently monitor your credit. If you haven’t already done so, sign up for identity theft protection services that will help protect you if you are affected by any type of cybersecurity theft.
Read one of these articles next!