Twitch, the live-streaming service for video game players and esports fans, generates hundreds of millions of online views from 20- and 30-year olds every month.
Neiman Marcus, the venerable department store chain, generates hundreds of millions of dollars in luxury clothing & accessory sales from 40-, 50-, and 60-year olds every month.
Yet both companies suffered the very same fate recently: They both reported massive data breaches within days of each other.
Twitch announced that hackers stole a massive amount of proprietary data, including source code for the platform and earnings information for the top streamers on the site. Neiman Marcus alerted 4.6 million customers that their personal data had been hacked, including credit card and gift card numbers, passwords, and contact information.
Traditional retail vs digital media. Baby boomers vs Gen Z. Luxury apparel vs video games. It doesn’t matter what kind of company you are, who your customers are, or what kind of products you sell. Any company can fall victim to data breaches, exposing their customers’ personal data to hackers.
That means, as an individual consumer, the more companies that have your personal data, the more likely some of your information will be hacked or leaked without your permission. Those hacks bring the risk of future phishing attacks, potential ransomware threats, and even possible identity theft if the thieves can piece together enough of your profile.
What’s your best defense? Shrink your digital footprint down to just the most essential services. Make sure that only the businesses you value have access to your personal data. Instruct every company to stop selling your data. Delete your personal information from companies that shouldn’t have access to it. And stay vigilant about the size of your digital footprint, month after month, as you continue to use the internet.