Personal Information in High demand
All of the data breaches in the news hint that the demand for personal information is not slowing down. Information is being stolen and sold across the dark web at an alarming rate. The amounts that are listed in recent report, such as the Marriott breach at 500 million, are astounding. Why is the information useful if someone is not financially stable? Have you ever wondered what your inter net worth is?
Equal Opportunity Thefts
Malicious actors will take anyone’s personal data and make it useful. If you are not a millionaire, you are still subject to being a victim of data theft and possibly identity theft. Some data stolen has nothing to do with money. A lot of malicious actors steal your personal information and sell it for targeted marketing purposes. Regardless of what social category you identify with, you still have some Inter net worth that people are willing to prey on.
There are a lot of different variables regarding your net worth. Obviously, your substantiated value in your bank account affects it tremendously. However the common formula reported by Fox Business on November 30th states that credit card information alone is only worth $1 on the black market. Each additional piece of personal information, such as an email address would multiply it by 5. So for example a credit card number with an email address, home address and social security number could be worth around $125.
Not all types of cyber attacks consist of stealing credit card numbers. The healthcare industry has suffered repeated attacks this year alone. There is a high demand for medical records due to the increase in medical and healthcare fraud. With high demand also comes higher value. A medical record has a net worth at least 10 times the amount of a credit card number and or bank data. This is simply because in regard to banking, you can change your personal information once you are breached. You cannot change your medical history. It was reported last year that an electronic medical health record “ehr” could be sold for $1000.
Other aspects of your life will affect the value of your personal information and may cause you to become a target. You cannot change the variables. However, knowing about them and acting accordingly to protect yourself is the key. Major life changes, changing residences, and even certain interest can raise the value of your personal information. Awareness and recognition of a problem is always the first step to resolving an issue. Certain websites can give you a rough estimate of what your data can be worth.
Not all breaches make headlines. It is always important to do your own research and keep yourself protected. It was reported recently that the probability of experiencing a data breach is 1 in 4. The cost can be astronomical and there is no sign of it slowing down. There is no way to be 100% safe. Especially when so many corporations that underfund cybersecurity possess our personal information. We must be proactive.