A data breach is any incident when confidential and sensitive information like credit card details, medical records, or any login credentials) is stolen, exposed or retrieved. It is a type of cyberattack that occurs after criminals successfully gain access to a private system or home network, usually without the user knowing. Breaches can also happen through several scenarios:
Your smart devices and appliances are a prime target for data breaches by hackers. For the most part, smart devices are notoriously known to have weak security measures and hold a treasure trove of personal information. Think your name, address, date of birth, and medical/health information. If your device was part of a more significant data leak, your personal information could also be sold on the dark web. Unfortunately, a simple password change or file deletion cannot restore the impacts of a data breach.
Once a cybercriminal has their hands on your device or your private data, the sky is the limit.
In extreme cases, hackers can potentially use your data stored on your smart device to act on your behalf, steal your identity and wreak havoc on your life. Identity thieves can apply for credit cards, mortgages or bank loans, file fake tax claims and even use your personal information in the case of police arrest under your name.
Despite what you might think, identity theft can also happen to children. Children can accidentally reveal sensitive information when nearby or using smart home devices. With whatever they decide to post on social media and other internet platforms, hackers can get a picture of your child's identity. It may take a while to realise if a child's identity gets stolen, possibly until they reach adulthood when they require a credit report. Children who have their identities stolen can also be the victim of grooming or blackmail.