Infographic: Data theft — protecting your data in 2020


Whenever you go to the gas pump you probably see the same sign: PROTECT YOUR PIN. We all know about card skimmers and the increasingly intricate tactics they are using to steal our personal data and information, which now includes tiny cameras meant to capture you inputting your PIN code when you swipe a credit card. Chip cards are meant to counteract this, but unfortunately that only works on physical transactions, not those that take place online. What’s more, thieves are coming up with more ways to steal your data every single day, some of which may surprise you.

It may come as a shock, but lost and stolen devices are responsible for the largest data theft threat. In 2017, nearly one in five data loss incidents involved the loss or theft of a device such as a laptop or mobile phone. One of the worst examples of this was an incident in 2006 in which a laptop and external storage device were stolen from a Department of Veterans Affairs employee which led to the loss of 26.5 million names, birth dates, social security numbers, and disability ratings, which included personal health information. 

The physical theft of such devices costs an organization an average of eight times the cost of just replacing the lost device, as cleanup of data breaches take time and cost money. A quarter of stolen laptops are stolen from cars, while 14% are lost on airplanes. Only a quarter are ever recovered.

And now there’s a new threat to watch out for, especially when you travel. “Juice jacking” takes place when a person unknowingly plugs their smartphone into a public charging device of some kind, which renders the provider of that station the ability to download information from your device directly. Malware can be loaded via those USB devices from outside sources, too. Don’t use these stations unless you are certain you have your settings set to charge only via USB. Watch for any notifications, use an AC plug whenever possible, and use a USB condom if you can carry one.

Learn more about physical security threats to your data below.

Data Theft - Hardware Hacking
Source: Computer Science Degree Hub

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Last Updated on February 3, 2021.


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