Data & privacy breaches are accelerating. Here’s how to protect yourself

Most consumers think of a data breach as something small—the password they used when they signed up for that now non-existent pet website 10 years ago has been discovered by hackers.

But in reality, data breaches are far more serious, none more so than the recent SolarWinds attack carried out by suspected Russian hackers in December 2020.

This motherlode of all hacks was deceptively simple but enabled its hackers to procure far-reaching information. New reports indicate that it might have gone undetected for months.

Data breaches aren’t new, of course. Over the past decade, some major breaches have infiltrated many consumer sites.

As more of us are online, it’s not surprising that data breaches are on the rise. The Identity Theft Resource Center reported in 2019 that the United States saw a 17% increase in breaches during 2018

But the good news is that there was a decrease of 65% of sensitive records exposed.

The best thing that someone can do to protect themselves right now is to decrease what security experts sometimes call “attack surface,” or those devices that you don’t realize are all online, monitoring your activity.

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