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The rise of data breaches and how to protect yourself

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2024 | Data Breaches

If you rely heavily on the internet for work or personal endeavors, you should know that data breaches have become alarmingly common. It’s easy to think that it’s unlikely that you might be hacked, but you have to remember that data breaches affect millions of individuals and businesses worldwide.

Statistics reveal a significant increase in data breaches among organizations and individuals over the past decade. This is a revelation you should take seriously because your personal information, just like everyone else’s, is the currency of the digital age. Whether it be your social media activities or financial records, any data you share online is constantly under threat. Fortunately, there are cybersecurity practices you can use to help protect yourself from being hacked.

The numbers don’t lie

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) has comprehensive reports on data breaches in the United States since 2005. Their annual reports show that data breaches have spiked in recent years. The number of data breaches surged from 662 in 2010 to 1,108 in 2020. Even more concerning is the exponential rise in the number of records exposed. In 2010, approximately 16.2 million records were hacked by cybercriminals. By 2020, this number had skyrocketed to 155.8 million.

In 2023 alone, there were a staggering 3,205 reported incidents, a significant jump from just a few years prior. Even more worrying is the number of individuals impacted; over 353 million Americans were affected by data breaches in 2023.

Protects you need in a data-driven world

One of the surefire yet easy-to-overlook ways to help protect your data online is to give your passwords some thought. You might want to curate unique passwords if you still use your year of birth as the password for all your online accounts.

Another strategy you might want to consider is keeping most of your personal information out of the online world. As long as cybercriminals don’t have access to this information, they cannot target you with phishing attacks or social engineering scams.

Suppose you cannot avoid using the internet for work or personal purposes; it’s about time you embraced robust cybersecurity practices. By being cautious online and exploring all your defense options, you can help safeguard your digital life.