Recently, an email marketing company you’ve never heard of called Epsilon had a data breach where someone (presumably a hacker but they’re not sure) got all the names and emails in their database. Why is this a big deal?
Well, Epsilon just happens to send emails on behalf of lots of companies you have heard of:
Do the companies above have any information that might be important to you? About your finances? Health? School records? Of course they do. But do you have to worry? The hackers only got the names and email address, right? What can be done with just knowing your name and email address? Well…
What we’ve learned from other data breaches where hackers got into company databases is that you re-use your passwords a lot:
But even if your password isn’t on the list, the online privacy and identity theft problem here is DATA MINING. Hackers are good at cross-referencing data. They can take 50 million names and emails from Epsilon, compare that with 32 million emails and passwords from Rockyou (and other breaches and fake phishing sites), and get hundreds of thousands of online accounts with which they can commit fraud. It’s basically child’s play.
This is why everyone needs to take care not t0 get too angry at Epsilon, but to get even with hackers and get in control of your online privacy. Use tools like Abine’s DoNotTrackMe to create Masked Emails. Try it: it’s free, and you’ll be glad you did when the next big data breach comes around.