In yet another data breach connected to children’s toys, Hong Kong children’s technology and toy company VTech has revealed that they suffered a data breach. The hack saw almost five million customer’s data hacked and exposed. The toy company exposes private data of parents and children, information including names, addresses, download history, secret questions and answers, and even IP addresses. VTech also confirmed that while password information was also stolen, it was at least encrypted and that no credit card information was compromised.
Security experts confirmed the breach and warned that the damage is much worse than previously confirmed. Troy Hunt, security analyst, disputes the claims made by VTech and in fact explain that the passwords are not actually encrypted and that as soon as they enter the database, all that is protecting them is a low level of protection that only works with the strongest of passwords. Of course, customers of the VTech systems are mostly children so the likelihood of a strong password is minimal.
Yet again, companies are not taking online security seriously, as the past year has seen an alarmingly high growth of data breaches, from small companies to large government organisations. The trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down, even after the string of high profile attacks, companies still cut the corners of data protection and unfortunately only the customers suffer.
If you are concerned with data protection and ensuring your own data stays safe online, then there are numerous steps to take in protecting yourself and your family whenever you’re online. A VPN is a great tool and a good start in protecting yourself. A virtual private network essentially creates a secure and encrypted tunnel directly from your device to the internet. This prevents anyone from potentially snooping on your activity, as well as keeping you anonymous online. This is especially important if you use public wifi networks, as these are unsecured, allowing anyone to join. Coffee shops, airports, libraries, schools and many other places use public wifi as a means for easy internet access. But whenever you transmit data over these, you will be putting yourself at risk.
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