We all hear about them. Stories that hit the news about personal information that’s been breached. They grab our attention, create anxiety and get us wondering how secure our data really is. Regardless of whether the company is local or national, a business we’ve interacted with or someplace we’ve never heard of we know data breaches affect millions of people. But if we’ve never personally experienced the fallout it’s possible, we aren’t giving them the credit they’re due.
In Nebraska, data breaches hit close to home and pose an immediate threat to companies and organizations we interact with every day. Here, we’ll break down the effects of data breaches in Nebraska and how we can prevent similar breaches in the future.
How many Nebraskans have experienced a data breach?
According to Comparitech, Nebraska experienced 48 data breaches from 2008–19. While this may not sound like a lot, those breaches compromised more than 900,000 records containing personal data from thousands of Nebraskans. This state-specific data point is important, but it only illustrates affected Nebraskans who have faced information vulnerability from local breaches. We know that these aren’t the only breaches negatively impacting the state’s population. Many, if not most, people do business with national and international organizations that are also at risk increasing the number exponentially.
Breached records can contain email addresses, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, addresses, payment information, and a variety of other confidential information you wouldn’t want to be exposed. When a big data breach hits the news, however, it’s tricky to know right away whether you’ve been affected.
An easy way to see if any of your email addresses have been compromised is to visit haveibeenpwned.com. This site allows the user to check any existing email account to see if that address has been compromised in a data breach.
How to prevent future data breaches
The best way to prevent data breaches is to stay a step ahead of scams, thieves and malware. Vigilance pays off. You can protect yourself and your company’s digital information by:
- Keeping your software up to date all the time.
- Maintaining clear policies for team members who use personal devices for work.
- Including multi-factor authentication with strong passwords on every company device and account.
- Encrypting all sensitive information.
- Disposing of sensitive and confidential information in a manner consistent with all legal requirements and in accordance with company policies.
- Educating team members about security and the value of protective measures.
Although there’s no fool proof way to avoid threats, these proactive steps can drastically reduce your chances of a data breach.
Contact DataShield today to see how we can help further protect your organization from the dangers of data breaches. DataShield develops tailored solutions to mitigate the possibility of a data breach.