Overexposed: Responding to Identity Theft in an Era of Online Breaches

We’ve all seen the headlines about massive data breaches in recent years. From the Equifax breach in 2016 to the latest Facebook leak, a lot of our personal data has been exposed online.  The internet is becoming a necessary part of our everyday lives, and the need for protecting our online identities is greater than ever. You might be surprised to learn that even if you are just on social media, your (online) identity is most likely up for sale on the Darknet somewhere. Sounds scary, but there are actually some basic steps you can take to protect yourself if you’ve been part of a breach, or if your identity has been compromised.

It’s all about the PII

So what exactly is an online identity, and what information are cyber criminals looking for? It’s usually all types of Personally Identifiable Information, or PII, which includes your email addresses, passwords, social security number, home address, birthdays, and more. 

What cyber criminals can do

You’re probably wondering why on earth should a cyber criminal care about your birthday? Well unfortunately it’s not to send you a present. Cyber criminals can use seemingly innocuous personal data to construct a new identity (synthetic identity theft) or to take over yours.

Obtaining access to this data, your assets (PII), enables criminals to take over your existing accounts and steal from you. This is commonly referred to as ATO: Account Takeover. They can also open new banking and credit accounts on your behalf. 

A recent (March 2021) report by The Aite Group, indicates that roughly 47% of the US population has been subject to some form of identity theft (financial or online) in the past 2 years. Identity Theft has become an imminent threat to US citizens. 

What you can do to protect yourself

Take the first step to protect yourself from cybercrime by simply sending us an email to [email protected] (write anything!). We’ll reply within a couple of minutes with your personal digital exposure results – we call it “The Pineapple Report”.

This report will show you leaked information linked to your email address that was probably a part of a data breach. This includes passwords and other PII. 

Follow the recommendations in the report. It’s safe and 100% free. You’re welcome to try it on all your accounts and share it with your family, friends and loved ones. We’ll also save your spot on our early access list for the Cyrus app.  More details coming soon 🙂