Security researchers have identified several million data records over the past few weeks which were available unprotected on the Internet due to data leaks – and sometimes still are.
Online service providers unfortunately still just don’t care enough about the security of their customer data. This emerged from a study by the German Chaos Computer Club (CCC). Their experts recently uncovered more than 50 cases where data sources totalling some 6.4 million personal data records have been siphoned off or were available unprotected.
Although it is generally easy to prevent any data leaks, they keep recurring. The damage to users caused by siphoned data which might potentially then have been abused is sometimes extensive, since personal data can for instance be abused for identity fraud.
Unfortunately, end users are unable to prevent data from leaking – but they can protect themselves against the consequences:
- Always use different passwords for different online services. This will avoid the risk of several online accounts becoming compromised all at once in case a data leak occurs.
- Always check your online service provider bills and account statements promptly. If you find any purchases or transactions not actually made by you, immediately notify your provider and have your account blocked.
- Check regularly whether you have been affected by a data leak with the help of the “Have I Been Pwned“ service. Immediately change your password for any online services potentially affected.