2019 was a big year for hackers. They successfully accessed billions of digital records from some of the most well-known companies in the world. Unfortunately, Doordash, Capital One and Adobe were just a few of the big-time companies hacked this year – exposing personal data and logins. What were the big breaches of 2019 and how can we lower the risk in 2020?
First American Financial Corporation
885 million records
In May 2019, First American’s hack included Social Security Numbers (SSNs), account numbers and other personally identifiable information (PII) used for mortgage, real estate and insurance purposes collected in 2003. That includes tax and banking information and Driver’s Licenses. The title insurance company put both buyers and sellers at risk with information from 2003 exposed.
763 million records
The software company’s breach was discovered by researcher, Bob Diachenko. Verifications.io is responsible for making sure that emails are sent to verified accounts but targeted 763 records. Data gathered included social media account information, birthdays, mortgage and loan amounts for third-party consumers since 2013.
Collection No. 1
773 million records
In January, Researcher, Troy Hunt, uncovered the attack that gave exposed over a billion email logins found from past breaches on the dark web. The data was uncovered on MEGA, a cloud service- He later named the Collection No. 1. The hack had a ripple effect by being linked to 2,000 databases and impacted more than 768,000 people. The hack included over 12,000 files on an 87 gigabytes cloud folder. The breach impacts 2.2 million people.
540 million records
Over 500 million records were found in Facebook’s data leak in April. The data includes phone numbers, login information, names and countries. This included 133 million records in the U.S. alone. The data leak comes on the heels of privacy concerns and an Instagram hack. The information was discovered on the Amazon cloud.
100 million records
A hacker was able to access over 100 million credit applications and accounts in March 2019. CNN shared that the hack impacted 140,000 SSNs and 80,000 bank account numbers – not including other records including addresses, credit information and names dating back to 2005. Over 100 million U.S. customers and 6 million Canadian customers were impacted.
How are hackers accessing databases?
Cybercriminals have a number of ways to access large databases of information. Commonly, they use scams, phishing and ransomware. They also match queries with URLs, use obvious passwords and use software to exploit data with the click of a button.
But, these aren’t their only methods. Every day, cybercriminals are finding new ways to retrieve and sell data for personal gain. Take a look at 2019’s biggest data breaches and the impact that targets millions.
My information was found in a data breach. Now what?
Don’t panic. There are ways to protect your data and stop any further damage. Remember, to practice digital safety anytime you’re sharing or viewing information - whether it’s your laptop, phone or smart home devices.
- Check Have I Been Pwned to see if your email and password has been in a batch of data. This is also a good tool to use as you create new unique passwords to avoid using a risky one.
- Sign up for identity theft protection and monitoring services to get automatic alerts if your information is found in a hack or breach.
- Get a password manager to encrypt your login information and safely store all of your passwords. It also takes the worry out of remembering your login information or storing them in an easily hackable space.
- Freeze your credit across all three credit bureaus to prevent anyone from accessing your reports or opening accounts on your behalf.
- Only handle personal matters on a protected and trusted network. Remember to regularly change your password and never save it online.
- Use common online best practices including firewalls, protected networks, and beware of any scams.
Want to learn more about digital safety to protect your data? Check out our guides, tips and articles for advice from our experts. We’ll even help you find the best services and tools to help your family practice online safety just in time for the new year.