Blog summary – Data breaches are the new age issues we are facing with the dependence on the digital world. In this blog, we talk about the safety measures to take if you have an account online on any of the websites.
Yet another data breach in the famous online portal shows us how vulnerable personal information is when saved online. Data breach in LinkedIn has been a major fallout with a claim of almost all users’ data being targeted. As the dark web sources have reported data of millions of users exposed and being sold over it.
The LinkedIn users have been targeted this time and if you are a user on the networking platform, you are likely to be hit by this wave. All of the personal details from LinkedIn have been outed by malicious elements for buyers on the dark web. Although the culprits have not been identified, the big setback for the company brings the mistrust yet again among the users. This is another case from the last few months after the Facebook data breach allegations.
What happened with LinkedIn?
On June 29th as reported by 9to5 Google, LinkedIn had a data breach and it has affected almost 92% of its users. The hackers have uploaded a portion of the data on the dark web for sale. Moreover, 9to5 has confirmed, hackers used the LinkedIn API. This leaves around 700 million LinkedIn users with their information under threat for misuse. The details include username, name, phone number, email address, company name, physical address, inferred salaries, and geolocation. This was reported to be a similar pattern of a data breach on LinkedIn from April 2021.
Even though LinkedIn has denied the data breach allegations and made a public statement – ‘Our teams have investigated a set of alleged LinkedIn data that has been posted for sale. We want to be clear that this is not a data breach and no private LinkedIn member data was exposed. Our initial investigation has found that this data was scraped from LinkedIn and other various websites and includes the same data reported earlier this year in our April 2021 scraping update.’
The company denies these allegations of data breach and calls the data to be scraped from the publicly available information.
This is not the first time that tech giants have been targeted. There have been cyber attacks on others and data breach has only increased in the past two years. Top social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have been numerously attacked and data breach has been reported. According to Verizon Business 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (2021 DBIR), there have been thousands of confirmed data breach incidents and millions of users have been affected on various websites and applications such as Pixlr, CAM4, SocialLarks, and more.
What Are The Problems Behind Data Breaches?
Each data breach costs millions of dollars to the companies who are falling victim to such cyber attacks. Also, it makes the users lose trust in them, and it can cause a loss in business. Most companies deny the allegations in such cases and try to save face. Even if they are correct, how far are we from losing personal data at the hands of the miscreants? We submit personal information on multiple websites for various reasons. Be it shopping websites, government agencies, social media, or in this case job portals and networking.
If someone gets to hold onto the personal information such as full names, genders, email addresses, home address, phone numbers, birthdays, social media accounts, company names, educational and professional background, all this amount of information can be dangerously used against us. Anyone can create fake accounts, and you can’t trace them back to them as you are unaware of any such activity. Identity theft and cybercrime can be conducted in your name and you can be framed.
Phishing emails, online spoofing, identity theft, and cyber fraud all have seen an all-time rise in the past few years. With the pandemic and the increase in dependence on the digital world, cybercrimes are elevating. One can not simply vanish from the face of the internet in today’s world. But there are some cautions we can simply follow to lead us into a much safer place for personal information. Let’s discuss the possibilities in the next section.
How To Fix It?
As we witness the personal details being up for sale on the dark web, we provide you with some safety measures to decrease the vulnerability of you falling victim to such cyber-attacks and identity thefts.
- Use private networks – Using free networks works fine for you, but ever wondered about the security around it? Always stay away from the public networks and even if you have to in dire cases, use VPN to safeguard your IP addresses and to mask your device and location.
- Never share your details with anyone – It’s the golden rule for the digital age to never share your sensitive information with anyone you do not trust. Scam calls and mails always lure you into giving information to them but beware of such frauds. Do not click on doubtful links and attachments from spam emails and messages.
Also Read: How To Recognize Spam And Phishing Emails
- Strong passwords – Remember to create a strong password for all your accounts. Do not use the date of birth, phone number as they are easy to guess and target your accounts in case of data leaks. Use Password managers if it’s hard for you to remember all the passwords. We would also suggest you use TweakPass which will help you save all your passwords in a secure vault and you can use the autofill feature to enter into your accounts. It also helps in generating passwords for you which will make it easier for you to create strong passwords.
- Report the cybercrime- Various cybercrime cells are working all around the world to help you report the crime. If you ever fall prey to a cyberattack in any personal or financial sector remember to report it to get the much-needed help to avert the worst possibilities.
- Vanish from the internet: the last resort- Yes, if you are not feeling safe for all of these reasons and you can delete your presence online completely. As there is no full-proof safety plan from the cyber attacks, ransomware, data breach, and identity theft. The good news is that you are less likely to be targeted but there is a possibility that a lot of information about you will still exist online. With your pictures and names shared by your friends and family on social media and other references on govt logs.
Also Read: How To Delete Your LinkedIn Account
In conclusion, we would like to add that it is up to us to think wisely before giving someone personal details online. These data breaches and cyberattacks are only going to increase in the future as the hackers are getting advanced. We must learn to fight back and work on improving our safety online. Strong passwords, 2-factor authentication, not sharing personal information with anyone are the few steps to securing personal data.
We hope this article will help you keep yourself safe from such data breaches. We would like to know your views on this post to make it more useful. Your suggestions and comments are welcome in the comment section below. Share the information with your friends and others by sharing the article on social media.
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