Here are some of the largest data breaches i.e. where hackers have illegally gained access to logins and sometimes passwords for large numbers of people.

Company

Number of People Affected

Company

Number of People Affected

MySpace

359,000,000

Heartland

130,000,000

LinkedIn

164,000,000

TK / TJ Maxx

94,000,000

Adobe

152,000,000

AOL

92,000,000

Badoo

112,000,000

Sony PlayStation Network

77,000,000

Tumblr

65,000,000

JP Morgan Chase

76,000,000

Ashley Madison

30,000,000

Home Depot

56,000,000

eBay

145,000,000

UK Revenue & Customs

25,000,000

MySpace

359,000,000

Home Depot

56,000,000

 

 Q. Wouldn’t we be told if our data had been compromised?

 

A. In some cases yes. In others the breach has been published but individuals were not  notified. Also, when a breach happens, it can be very difficult to identify exactly what information the hackers have got and whether or not they can easily break any stored passwords.

If you want to know if your email address has been compromised in one of the large scale data breaches that you  see in the news, then this website will check for you.

www.haveibeenpwned.com

The guy who created this website is Troy Hunt, a Microsoft Regional Director who is well known and highly regarded in the Internet security world.

Troy says “This site provides a service to the public. Data breaches are rampant and people don’t appreciate the scale or frequency with which they occur. By aggregating the data here, I hope that it not only helps victims learn of compromises of their accounts, but also highlights the severity of the risks of online attacks on today’s Internet”.

A “breach” is an incident where a hacker illegally obtains data from a vulnerable system, usually by exploiting weaknesses in the software. All of the data in the haveibeenpwned website comes from website breaches which have been made publicly available.

There’s an option on the site to sign up to be notified if your email address comes up in a later breach.

Q.           What to do if your email details have been compromised?

A.            This doesn’t necessarily mean that someone has your password but you should check and take precautions. 

·         Change the password for the account

·         Change the password for any other account that has the same login and password

·         Review whether to shut down the relevant accounts and whether there has been any suspicious activity on those accounts .

 

Passwords

You need to set safe passwords and not tell anyone and not write them down.

Refer to blog post http://fightback.ninja/how-to-keep-your-passwords-safe/ for more information on how to create ‘safe’  passwords. 

 


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