It’s only the first months of the year 2020, but the number of cybercrimes that has happened this year is already alarming. In the third week of February, MGM Resorts declared that personal information of its close to 11 million guests who have been into one of their hotels and resorts was dumped and released on a hacking forum. Published in the hacking site were millions of complete names, addresses, contact numbers, and birthdates. Members of the tech press were quick to confirm the accuracy of the released information by getting in touch with the published names in the forum and true enough, the information is accurate.
A security incident occurred in summer 2019, as a cloud server containing information of previous guests was accessed without proper authorization. If it’s any consolation, no credit card or financial information was published. So far, the resort giant has only released a statement saying that they have taken steps to improve their network security. For everyone’s reference, MGM’s facilities include the Mirage, Excalibur, Bellagio, Luxor, and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, as well as the Borgata in Atlantic City, golf courses in Las Vegas, Mississippi, and California, and other properties in New England and China.
With this massive data breach occurring months ago and only made known now, it seems that everyone involved in the digital, online times (that’s almost all of us unless you’re living out of the grid) are at great risk. Are we helpless about this situation? What can we possibly do if we have fallen victim to a data breach? We investigate ways on how to cope with data breaches.
Has your data been leaked?
You need to know whether you have been victimized first. Just because you have transacted with a website that has been hacked isn’t a 100% guaranteed that your information has been compromised.
The first step is to find out if your information was a part of the latest data hack. One of the most efficient and fastest ways to check is to use the site haveibeenpwned. The site works by using your email address to see which data breaches your information was a part of and if you were affected.
What has been stolen from you?
If you are now 100% certain that your data has been leaked, it is time to determine what information about you has been leaked. Leaked information can be classified as least sensitive (your full name, street address), more sensitive (payment methods, email addresses), and most sensitive (security codes of your payment options, social security numbers).
An online-account password, combined with an email address, can be used to hijack online accounts. A card security code lets a thief use a stolen card number for online and telephone shopping. A bank account number lets snoops track your financial history and even move money into (but probably not out of) an account.
See if you can get help
A lot of companies whose data was breach extend assistance to the people whose information was compromised because of them. If they aid you, try to see if the help they are willing to give can indeed benefit you.
Recovering from identity theft can be costly and time-consuming. If the breached company offers to help repair the damage and protect your personal information for a certain amount of time, consider accepting the offers.
Spring clean your online life
Start anew by cleaning your online accounts. Change your passwords regularly, consider disabling accounts that you haven’t used and have no plans of using in the near future, unsubscribe to emails of companies you haven’t transacted in forever, and practice good cybersecurity rituals like clearing your cookies regularly.
Almost half of Americans, 47%, use the same passwords over and over again, according to PCI Pal. This can cause problems in a data breach: Only one account may be compromised, but if you’ve used that same password in several places, you’ll need to change all of them. Look into using a password manager such as LastPass or Dashlane. These programs will automatically generate unique, secure passwords for all your accounts and remember them for you.
You may be a victim of data breaches, but that doesn’t mean you’ll remain one for a long time. Immediate action is crucial, just like if your hard drive is causing you problems. We can help you deal with your hard drive concerns – click here to get the right help you need.
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