Why do data breaches happen? 4 myths debunked

data breach mythWham—news of a data breach breaks. Updates flood the internet, accusations fly between parties, and everyone speculates. Why? How? What happens now?

Amid the chaos and the hype, it can be difficult to get clear, accurate information about what’s really going on when a data breach occurs. While data breaches are certainly a complex issue, equipping yourself with basic knowledge of them can help you to navigate the news, to handle the aftermath, and to secure your data as best as you can.

Let’s get the story straight on why data breaches happen by looking at four common myths… Read More

Heartbleed vulnerability and Abine: Why you’re safe


Not pretty!

On Monday a serious vulnerability was reported in OpenSSL across the web. The vulnerability – coined Heartbleed - allows data to be stolen from websites that are typically secured by SSL/TLS encryption.

OpenSSL is used by roughly two-thirds of all websites on the internet, so the situation is critical for internet users to be aware of. The vulnerability can reveal the contents of a server’s memory – including usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers.

Let’s dig deeper to see how this affects you.

Read More

March Madness champions: Boston startup style

Boston Startup Champs

While college basketball teams have been duking it out to win the title of March Madness Champion (congrats UConn!), we have been in our own March Madness competition: Bostinno style. In a grueling competition versus 63 other Boston-based startups, we just took home the championship! Thank you to everyone who voted for Abine; we truly appreciate your support.

We had some fierce competition — Gazelle, LoseIt!, and Bit9 to name a few. All of our opponents certainly gave us a run for our money. Great job to all startups who participated and thank you Bostinno for hosting such a fun competition.

Read More

Your favorite journalists’ next data breach article (a.k.a. Monday Mad Libs)

mad libs

Need a break from your Monday? Want a small retreat to your childhood? Interested in keeping up with trending news?

Look no further—Abine Mad Libs is here.

Abine likes to stay in the loop about current data breaches, but they occur so frequently that, after a while, all the data breach articles start to look the same. We could list out the details of each breach we’ve come across today—at Experian, at the Chicago doctors’ group, in LA county, and in Germany, for example—but instead, we decided to let you fill in the blanks.

While our mad lib word game is a whole lot of fun (humor us!), the reality of data breaches is not so chummy. But let’s be honest – data breaches happen far too often, and organizations are not taking adequate measures to secure user and customer data.

Nevertheless, enjoy!

Directions: Fill out the lines below with the word type indicated to the left. Do it with a friend or by yourself without looking at the story that comes next. Once you have all of the words, read the story, replacing the parentheses with the words you came up with. PRO TIP: Journalists can use this template to assist with their next data breach story!

  1. Adjective ____________________
  2. Number ____________________
  3. Plural Noun ____________________
  4. Company or organization ____________________
  5. Name ____________________
  6. Plural Noun ____________________
  7. Bit of Data ____________________

Read More

Don’t be an April Fool: avoid credit card scams

april-fools-credit-card-scamBrian Krebs – the security blogger who first broke news of the Target breach – has reported a new rash of credit and debit card scams. This newest hack posts bogus sub-$15 charges to your credit card from a company called BLS*Weblearn and may be listed alongside a 1-888 number. While a charge like this may not warrant a frantic call to your bank, the scam isn’t any ole April Fool’s joke. Micropayment fraud poses a serious threat to your financial security.

We recommend checking your credit card statement to make sure you haven’t been pranked by this newest hack.

If you do find suspicious charges on your card, we urge you call your bank, report the fraud immediately, and request a replacement card. Once your information is in the hands of hackers, it’s likely that you will be targeted—and charged—again.

Moving forward, the only sure way to protect yourself from future credit card scams and data-breaches is to use DoNotTrackMe’s Masked Cards.

Read More