Did you know that stores are likely to keep your name, credit card number, address, email address, and even date of birth stored on file for long periods of time? With information like this sitting idle, it often becomes an easy target for cyber criminals. This month, SiteLock is supporting Data Privacy Day on January 28th to create awareness around the importance of privacy and protecting personal information.

Security breaches are on the rise and this trend is not slowing. Over 750 breaches occurred during 2015 with more than 170 million records exposed. The number of breached data records in 2015 nearly doubled the records breached in 2014.

What are Cybercriminals Doing with My Personal Information?

Your personal data is worth money, and hackers know this. Cybercriminals can literally trade in your personal information for cash. Identity thieves, spammers, and organized crime rings, can then use that data to make a profit.

For example, a cyber criminal might obtain a list of email addresses to send Viagra offers. They make money off response rates or website/pop-up ad impressions. To give you another example, a cybercriminal could use that same list of emails to create a phishing scheme designed to trick people into giving away their credit card information. A credit card number may only be worth a dollar to the criminal, but if you multiply that single record by a million, the hacker just collected one hefty paycheck.

What Do I Do After My Data Has Been Breached?

Whether you are running a blog or a Fortune 500 company, your customers are your most valuable assets. If those customers lose your trust due to a security breach, it could take months to regain their confidence.

Your customers have the right to know the details of the breach. One of the first things you should do after a breach is notify the affected victims. Then, equally as important is finding out how the breach happened in order to stop it from happening again. Did the attackers gain access to your customers’ email addresses? If so, be sure to alert them about possible phishing schemes. One of the most important steps to take preceding a breach is to add a layer of security to all of your IT assets, starting with your website.

You can protect your website with a web application firewall to prevent DDoS attacks, website vulnerabilities and malicious bots from entering your site. In addition, a website scanner will alert you to malware and spam (and in some cases, remediate issues automatically). Cybercriminals use malicious links to redirect users from Google to a malware-infested site. When this happens, you end up being blacklisted by Google, losing traffic to your website.

A breach of security is a breach of trust. Privacy matters. Make sure to protect it with SiteLock. Give our security experts a call today at 877.563.6200 to find a solution best for your website.