What to do when your Data is Breached

This has been a pretty common topic for us on the Motor City Technology blog. We've seen a lot of Metro Detroit clients and customers suffer the consequences when online retailers and other account providers experience a security breach. It is equally vital for consumers to know what to do in the event of a security breach as it is the company that is actually breached.

Business Responsibility

Last week Zappos, a widely popular online show and clothing store, informed customers via email that its database had been hacked, and usernames and passwords have been stolen. Zappos, known for being a very modern, innovated business, reacted quickly and reset all passwords and quickly let all customers know about the breach.

This is an extremely important step for a business facing a large scale security breach. Letting your customers know that their data was stolen and that you are taking measures to resolve it can help maintain trust. Zappos is also being very transparent about what data was stolen. Think of it this way; if your credit card information gets stolen during a transaction, wouldn't you want to be informed about it quickly? Fortunately, no credit card info was stolen by the hackers in this case, but it is a very common circumstance in these types of events.

Customer Responsibility

If you a customer of a business that has experienced a security breach, you'll want to take action. Not all companies will be as responsible as Zappos and reset your password or immediately tell you what data was stolen. In this case, everybody's Zappos account is safe, but one major flaw in security needs to be considered for most users. It's pretty common for users to use the same password for multiple accounts. If a user has the same email and password credentials for both their Zappos account and their Facebook account, that means the hackers could get access to your Facebook.

If you use the same email account and password for multiple sites, you'll need to perform a password audit and create new passwords. Remember many online accounts can hold credit card and banking information, and you definitely don't want to have to deal with the repercussions of hackers getting into them. It is very important these days to keep track of all of your online accounts and utilize unique passwords for each account.

Have you been affected by another company's data breach? Let us know in the comments!

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Joshua Van Berkum is passionate about embracing the positive change that technology brings to small businesses. Having been in the "technology trenches" for years, as well as owning his own business for 15 years, Joshua is equipped with the patience and know-how that it takes to make technology decisions carefully and implement proper plans quickly. Still learning and always adapting, Joshua is continually striving to grow his customers' businesses through innovation, while ensuring his client's return on their technology investment.

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Guest Thursday, 24 April 2014