SA’S LARGEST DATA BREACH – HOW SAFE IS YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION

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Fears are still running high after the Experian data breach which took place earlier this year. The number of messages and emails received by the public from their respective banking institutions, warning of the risk of identity theft and other risks as a result of the breach, has left us all questioning how safe our private and confidential information is.

During May 2020, the credit bureau, Experian, handed over the personal details of some 24 million people to an individual which they now call a fraudster. There have been reports that it handed over data including ID numbers, telephone numbers, and physical and e-mail addresses of more than 23 million individuals and nearly 800,000 businesses to someone who represented to them that they were authorised to have that information.

Whilst Experian has now advised that the breach has been contained, the question still remains as to what happened between May, the time when the breach took place, and now, when we, the public, were informed about it.

After receiving authority from the Court, Experian seized the hardware from the suspected fraudster and the data was “secured and deleted”.

This may be a relief to some, but many people remain concerned about how much damage has been done over the past three months, as a result of the release of their personal information to a suspected fraudster.

Author – Jessica Gooding

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