Data breaches happen all the time to both well-known, corporate organisations, and small, independent businesses. In 2013 there was a data breach at Yahoo and personal information from over 3 billion people was exposed. In 2018 there was a breach at British Airways, personal and credit card data was taken from over 400,000 customers.

A data breach is when a cybercriminal gains access to protected, confidential information. Most often this includes email addresses and phone numbers but can also involve your card details, home addresses and Social Security numbers.

The issue with this is that once the information is out there, it’s almost impossible to get back. Cybercriminals will often create large databases of personal information for both organisations and individuals, make copies of it, and then sell this information on the dark web for hundreds of other people to use.

So, the question is, what actually happens to your information after a data breach?

If your phone number has made its way to the dark web, you might start receiving ‘fake’ phone calls. These may seem easy to ignore, but this might be the start of someone trying to take control of your phone, by transferring your number to a new sim card. This is called SIM-jacking. This will automatically send any of your texts,/phone calls directly to the hacker’s phone as well as your own. If this is a work phone, the hacker will now have access to client information and be able to see confidential conversations.

person typing on rgb keyboard

Surprisingly, even small details like your birthday, gender or what country you live in will make it easier for hackers to make their way into your account. People often include personal details in their passwords as it makes them easy to remember.

As well as stealing money, hackers can damage your business reputation by accessing social media accounts and posting content directly to your page or to your clients. Your clients may find it hard to trust you once this happens, and they know that their information is probably at risk if yours has been accessed so easily.

If someone has worked out your email address and password, they can access any account that you have ever set up with those details. Once into your emails, there is an endless list of possibilities of what they could do next. Hackers can impersonate your work clients, send you identical fake invoices and wait for you to send the money directly into their bank accounts – this is way more common than you think and can be detrimental to small businesses who can’t afford to lose large sums of money.

To prevent this from happening, you need to make sure you have security measures in place to stop your information getting into the wrong hands, contact us today to find out more – 

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