While you’re taking measures to protect your identity – what is happening just outside your reach?

If you were a First American Financial Corporation customer during the past 16 years, the answer is plenty. And not in a good way. KrebsOnSecurity.com reported in May 2019 that hundreds of millions of sensitive documents were left unsecured and accessible through the company’s website.

First American, a Fortune 500 company providing mortgage insurance and assistance for both buyers and sellers in closing real estate transactions, was not aware of this security vulnerability. According to the article, anyone who knew the URL for a valid document housed on the company’s website could access that document.

The number of unsecured and potentially compromised files?  885 million dating back years. The data types included, and the potential hazards of exposure of that data, include:

Although the number of exposed First American records alone looks shocking, it’s a small slice of a burgeoning worldwide problem.

Data Vulnerability on the Rise

In 2018, 446,515,334 records were exposed, according to an Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) report.  As of May 7, 2019, 4,532,024 records were identified as unprotected in 2019 alone, says the report, which also counted 437 breaches of 11,638,460 records as of that date.

Exposed consumer records are up 126% from 2017 to 2018, says another report, this one by the ITRC in conjunction with data security firm CyberScout. Although this CyberScout reports an overall decrease in the number of security breaches, the sharp increase in the number of exposed records is “serious,” says ITRC president and CEO Eva Velasquez. “Never has there been more information out there putting consumers in harm’s way,” said Velasquez.

Exposure happens in online platforms such as Facebook and Google. It also happens in spaces most Americans trust their data. These include:

1. Banking/Credit/Financial:

– A watch list database of more than 2.4 million identity records on government officials and politicians from every country in the world was leaked online from a Dow Jones watch list in late February 2019. [1]

2. Government/Military:

– On March 22, 2019 it was revealed that a data breach at the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) exposed the personal details of 2.3 million disaster survivors.[2]

3. Business:

– Just last month the massively popular online design tool,
Canva, was hacked, exposing 139 million Canva customers’ usernames, real names, and email addresses.[3]

4. Medical/Healthcare:

– This week nearly 12 million patients’ records were exposed in a Quest Diagnostics data breach. Financial account data, Social Security numbers, and health information were likely stolen.[4]

It takes a hacker just a few minutes and a few dollars to access your PII, or Personally Identifying Information on the dark web – a hidden layer of the internet where cybercriminals traffic in stolen consumer information.

So what can you do to protect your data?

IDSeal Helps You Protect your Personal Information

IDSeal can help you monitor your PII.* Their comprehensive coverage alerts you if it finds your data on the dark web – so that you can seal off that information from those who would use it maliciously. IDSeal checks the most common data to be compromised, including email addresses, bank accounts, credit card numbers and Social Security numbers, and then goes a step further with credit monitoring, reports, and scores; credit score trackers and simulators; social media monitoring (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter); and more.

As cybercrime becomes more complex, you need a company that can keep ahead of the pace. IDSeal experts have over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity and protection starts the moment you register. We’re your 24/7/365 sentinel in cyberspace.

Always connected doesn’t have to mean always at risk. Check out IDSeal plans today.

* It is not possible to prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, or to effectively monitor all activity on the internet. IDSeal cannot and does not guarantee complete protection against cybercrime or identity theft. IDSeal does not monitor the activities of all financial institutions, or all activities of any particular financial institution. Review the IDSeal Terms & Conditions for specific details regarding IDSeal services.

[1] https://securitydiscovery.com/dow-jones-risk-screening-watchlist-exposed-publicly/

[2] https://www.oig.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/2019-03/OIG-19-32-Mar19.pdf

[3] https://support.canva.com/contact/customer-support/may-24-security-incident-faqs/

[4] http://newsroom.questdiagnostics.com/AMCADataSecurityIncident