Over the past two years, some of the biggest US companies and organizations suffered severe data breaches and leaks. Hackers used the personal information of millions of customers and employees to commit cybercrimes.
Individuals and companies must learn how to protect their data and keep it safe from hackers. Cybercrime is very profitable, and your data is a much sought-after commodity to these criminals.
Due to the increase in data breaches, most companies now use a residential US proxy to protect their customers’ and employees’ data. The most crucial function of such a proxy is to keep your IP addresses hidden from hackers, malware, bots, and other malicious devices.
A US proxy acts as a gateway between you and the sites you browse, keeping your IP address hidden from external servers. The sites you visit will not recognize you and can do you no harm.
A US proxy not only provides safety and security but has other added benefits, such as increased bandwidth and faster internet speed. Companies can also manage multiple accounts from the same IP address and circumvent geo-blocked sites, giving users better access to the internet.
Individuals can also use residential proxies at home, giving them broader bandwidth and faster internet. With a US proxy in place, parents can control what websites their children access, and online banking transactions are more secure and less likely to be hacked.
Examples of Large Data Breaches
Failing to protect your data can have dire consequences. Some of the top US companies learned this lesson the hard way and had to pay dearly for their security breaches.
Equifax, one of the top three US credit bureaus, suffered the most significant data breach in recent times. The attack affected more than 140 million people, and the leaked information included their social security numbers, credit cards, and driving licenses.
A few months after the breach, the data was sold on the dark web. Hackers who bought the data used it to perform hundreds of unauthorized financial transactions. The victims are now suing Equifax for losses incurred and are seeking compensation.
Facebook and political data-analytics firm Cambridge Analytica were implicated in a massive data breach in 2018. The personal data from over 87 million Facebook users were leaked. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized to the public and went before congress to answer questions. Facebook was fined a massive $5 billion.
The gas station and convenience store chain Wawa admitted to malware in its payment system that collected customers’ credit and debit card details. The malware breached all of their 850 Wawa locations on the East Coast. Wawa notified their customers and offered free credit card monitoring.
Food delivery app DoorDash suffered a data breach affecting 4.9 million customers. Fortunately, the hackers could not ring up fraudulent charges as they did not have all the correct information.
What Happens to Your Data?
There is an extensive international market on the dark web that trades in data. Hackers use cryptocurrency to buy data, and the demand is high. In 2016, security company Bitglass did a study to find out what happens to stolen data.
The company faked a data leak in a fictional bank and leaked the information on the dark web. Bitglass tracked the data and found that the information had reached 22 countries within several days.
Hackers use underground forums to trade stolen credentials and passwords. Anyone on the forum can buy someone else’s personal information for the relatively small amount of money paid in cryptocurrency. However, these forums are very selective, and you need an invitation to join them.
Once a hacker has your personal information, online shopping and credit card transactions start. Within days they will empty all your accounts, leaving you frustrated, confused, and out of pocket.
Protect Yourself from Data Breaches
The best way to protect your data is to use proxies. You can do a few other things to protect yourself from cyberattacks, such as implementing a two-factor authentication process and not using the same password for different sites.
Always use a separate email address for your online financial activities and check your bank statements regularly for any suspicious transactions. You can check whether your personal information has been compromised through the “haveibeenpwned” website.
And finally, customers and employees have the right to demand that companies protect their data and keep them safe from hackers. Failing to do so will result in severe fines and penalties for these negligent companies.