Data breaches and you

With more and more data about our lives being stored online such as health care, financial and travel records, it is becoming substantially harder to track where your information is available and who can access it. Due to this; data breaches are becoming substantially more common and thus identity theft is more commonplace in our current digital landscape.

Protecting yourself

The first steps to ensuring your account and information is secure should be to follow our top five cyber security essentials. Whilst these tips are important steps towards helping protect your individual data and accounts, data breaches of systems can still occur. In some cases a breach can result in your data and credentials being made public. Should someone manage to hack into these systems they can in theory have unlimited access to anyone's information that is stored; however there are key steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of the broader impact a data breach may have on you and your identity.

Protect your accounts

  1. Ensure you are using unique passwords for each site or service you use
    • Reusing passwords greatly increases the impact of a data breach, as should that system be breached, the cyber criminals can access multiple different accounts using the same account details
    • Griffith passwords should never be used for non-Griffith services
  2. Avoid using your Griffith email address for non-Griffith services
  3. Turn on Multi-Factor Authentication

Be cautious with your information

  1. Only enter data into legitimate websites or services
  2. Avoid giving out high risk credentials such as your driver's license or passport
  3. Find out what they will do with the information they are collecting, if it will be adequately secured and who it will be shared with
  4. Enter the minimum amount of information required by the service to function
  5. Remove information from services or close your account when it is no longer required
  6. Avoid sharing too much information on social media that could be used to steal your identity

Detecting a breach

Whilst you can never be certain whether your details have been involved in a data breach there are some ways to find out if you have been involved in data breaches.

  1. Most good corporations will alert it's users if their system has been breached. Also look out for terms such as 'lost', 'leaked' or 'misused' as these typically mean the same thing
  2. You may hear about it in the media
  3. You can check if your email has been involved in a breach using online free services such as Have I Been Pwned and Breach Level Index
  4. You can subscribe to services such as those offered by Experian that will notify you if your identity or information such as email, driver's license, passport or credit card has been compromised or leaked
  5. You may notice unusual activity with your accounts

Think your identity has been compromised?

Cyber Security Alert Service

Alert services provides the latest information about cyber security news, threats and advisories relevant to Griffith University staff and students. Stay up to date with the latest information here.

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