Data Privacy

Were YOU hacked? The top data breaches of 2016

2016 was the year that records kept being broken for topping the league that no-one wants to be part of – biggest data breaches of all time.

MySpace, Yahoo and FriendFinder were the big three (although there were countless ‘smaller’ ones) – all revealed in the last few months, despite being historic breaches.

MySpace seemed – and was – a huge deal when it was announced. It emerged approximately 360m records from the now-defunct platform had been hacked after millions of user names and passwords were made available online.

That seemed a ridiculous number until FriendFinder came along to top it, with 400 million stolen records, spanning 20 years of data. That it operated a lot of 18+ sites including Penthouse merely made it more tantalising (and garnered more press coverage).

But the big daddy of breaches was still to come – although the hack happened back in August 2013, Yahoo only became aware in November that data from ONE BILLION accounts had been stolen. They told the world in December, at the same time becoming the not-so-proud holders – for now – of the biggest data breach to date.

So how do you find out if you were caught up in any of these hacks? Yahoo, for eg, has notified users it thinks were affected, asking them to change their password – and that’s probably best practice if you have an account with any service that has announced a hack. LeakedSource also maintains a database of over two billion records, which you can search to see if your accounts or email has been conpromised.

And if you want to be amazed/freaked out at the same time – check out this excellent site which visualises key data breaches over 30,000 records since 2004. There are a lot…