By Jerry Mooney

Data breaches are an unfortunate result of hackers and viruses infecting business systems. In the worst circumstances, they’re a potentially devastating occurrence. It’s very easy for them to ruin the success of a company entirely. We can learn a lot from data breaches that have already occurred, and 2016 has seen its fair share of them already. Let’s go through some of the most infamous ones.

 

 

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Wendy’s

 

In the case of Wendy’s, it is believed that malware had infected the point of sale systems they were using, causing a breach. In June 2016, work was still being carried out to investigate the breach further. Obviously, malware is something that can affect large businesses or single home users. The only way to really protect against it is to bolster your security measures. IT support companies like SKYE Technologies carry out this type of service.

 

Kiddicare

 

Kiddicare customers began to notice bizarre SMS messages coming through to their phones after this breach. No credit card data was compromised, but names and addresses were. The information was accidentally exposed while the company tested a new website in 2015. The only thing we can say about this one is to be extra careful with your customers’ data. If your business finds itself in a position like this, it could be in real trouble. Luckily, no credit card data was stolen in this instance, reducing the damage.

 

LinkedIn

 

Yes, data breaches can even affect the biggest online companies in the world. Enter LinkedIn, which was haunted by a 2012 data breach earlier this year. It came back to prominence because a list appeared online from the breach, causing LinkedIn to get to action. The company is working with law enforcement officials at present. It’s still unknown who published the information online. LinkedIn has seemingly done everything it can in this situation, and that’s the best lesson we can take from this story.

 

Premier Healthcare

 

This story made the news back in March when a laptop was stolen from the company’s headquarters. Unfortunately, despite the fact it was protected by a password, the data was not encrypted. Lots of people had their information compromised, and some financial information might have been lost, too. This shows just how crucial it can be to encrypt your most valuable and sensitive data. If you’re working with customer information, make sure it never falls into the wrong hands. Protect it at all costs.

 

Snapchat

 

Ah, phishing. No, not the thing where you throw a hook into the water. Snapchat was affected by a phishing scam when hackers tricked an employee into sending sensitive data. It’s as simple as it sounds; they requested and received the data they wanted. This is a scary prospect for any business to deal with, and phishing is something that is becoming very clever these days. It’s important to stay notified on what to look for, and train your team effectively to deal with it.

 

Make sure you are equipped with the tools your business needs to deal with any potential threats. We don’t want you to be on this list next year!

Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of Zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter @JerryMooney