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worst data leak cases

Hacked Companies: Inside the Largest Data Leak Cases of 2017

From popular dating sites to major retailers, threats to your cybersecurity and sensitive data are everywhere.

If you think you’re immune just because you’re a larger company, think again. Read on to learn more about the biggest data leak incidents of 2017.


Saks Fifth Avenue

This March, popular department store Saks Fifth Avenue experienced a massive data leak that posted the email addresses and telephone numbers of over 10,000 shoppers online.

The personal information was posted on an internal page of Saks’ website, where customers could sign up to get placed on a waiting list for products.

On the bright side, it was confirmed that no credit card information had been stolen and posted online — a rare thing for the cyber hacks of today.


Gmail

In May of 2017, hackers broke into the personal email accounts of over 1 billion Gmail users.

How did they get in?

By using what’s commonly known as a “phishing” scam. Essentially, the hackers sent an email that was disguised as a note from someone on their contacts list. Of course, many users didn’t think twice before opening it, as the sender was familiar to them.

Then, the victims were told that they needed to grant access to a third-party app in order to view an attachment their so-called “friends” had sent them.

Once the virus had the personal information it needed, it could then send itself to all of the initial victim’s contacts. This meant the scam was able to grow incredibly rapidly.

The lesson of this data breach? Always think twice before giving out your personal information to a third-party app.

*The IRS has even recently launched a campaign called, “don’t take the bait” to combat phishing scams that target tax professionals.


Chipotle

Yes, even everyone’s favorite fast food chain isn’t immune from a hack. Sadly, those who frequent the popular restaurant got a little bit more than just extra guacamole in April of this year.

By installing malware in Chipotle’s Point of Sale devices, hackers were able to steal the credit card information of countless customers. Essentially, the hackers were able to read the magnetic strip on the back of credits cards and get their numbers.

Hacking incidents like this are why inserting the chip is now so popular.

The hack was especially frightening as it affected multiple restaurant locations in a variety of cities.

Fortunately, Chipotle was able to quickly get a handle on the hack.


How Can You Prevent A Data Leak?

As you can see from the incidents above, data leaks can be costly, a huge blow to your brand’s reputation, and an enormous threat to customer service.

It’s always a good idea to invest in professional virus protection — especially if you use cloud-based software. Frequently run back-ups of your work, and always conduct rigorous testing to make sure there are no cracks in your security.

Additionally, if you have been hacked, you need to act as quickly as possible to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control. Start by using free data recovery software to ensure that you won’t lose all of your customer’s information or your company’s data.


Protect Your Customers — And Your Brand

Don’t end up like the companies on this list. Instead, start getting proactive about your data protection and recovery services.

Remember that new threats happen every day. Always stay on top of the latest hacking and malware news so you can continue to protect yourself and your customers.