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March 06, 2017

5 of the Greatest Cyber Security Breaches across the Globe in 2016

Top Online Security Breaches that Hit the Headlines 

With millions of accounts breached, accusations that Russia meddled in the US election vote and access denied to major sites that we rely on for day-to-day life, it’s no wonder so many of us are worried about our online security.

The big breaches of 2016 proved to be a timely reminder about how vital it is not to underestimate the importance of cyber security.

2016: A BIG Year for BIG Online Security Breaches

As experts in IT security, we know that EVERYONE is potentially at risk of hacking and other security breaches, even if they are among the biggest organizations in the world.

Here are five of the biggest online security breaches of the past year:

1. The US election: Did Kremlin hackers try to influence the US election? Well, US intelligence officials certainly believe they did. According to security experts, Russians used very simple tactics, sending out volleys of phishing emails, until someone in authority clicked.

Anyone can find their internet security compromised by phishing emails. The best way to avoid falling victim is not to click through to seemingly credible companies, for example, banks or credit card companies, using links in an email.

2. Yahoo: While it happened back in 2013, Yahoo revealed in 2016 that it had suffered the biggest data breach in history, with a whopping 1 billion user accounts compromised. The firm blamed state sponsored attackers for the breach, saying that hackers had been working on behalf of a government.

3. Three: British mobile giant Three revealed that it had suffered a huge data breach that could have put millions of its customers at risk of having their information stolen. Hackers are understood to have broken into one of the firm’s databases by using an employee log in. They managed to obtain names, phone numbers, addresses and dates of birth of customers; although Three said more sensitive information had not been disclosed.

4. LinkedIn: Business network LinkedIn revealed in 2016 that the scale of an attack four years previously was much worse than it originally appeared. LinkedIn admitted that 117 million accounts had been breached, many of which had passwords that were easy to guess, including “123456” and “linkedin”.

5. MySpace: Once upon a time, MySpace was the biggest social network in the world. But many users who stopped using the network years ago still found themselves the victims of a hack, as details of 427 million accounts were stolen. The incident highlighted the fact that historic security issues can also come back to bite and you can never really be too safe online.

It may seem easy to assume that if such huge organizations can fall victim to hacking, the use of malware or phishing scams, there is little hope for smaller firms, or for individuals. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself against the likelihood of a cyber attack or cyber security breach.

If you are worried about how secure your own systems are, take a look at the information about online security solutions on our services pages. You can also contact us for advice about the best ways to protect personal information online and book a consultation to discuss ways on how to prevent a cyber security breach.

TAGS: cyber security, malware, online security, phishing, Security, hacking