Hackers are skilled at breaking computer programs and gaining unauthorized access to the data with fraudulent intentions.
It is very unfortunate this happened to Sony because they have lost a lot of credibility with their users. The sheer magnitude of 70 million users scrambling to change their passwords, close those credit card accounts, 93,000 user accounts were taken down because their passwords and credit card information had been stolen.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, “determining the link between data breaches and identity theft is difficult because identity theft victims often do not know how their personal information was exposed to the fraudulent practices and identity theft is not always detectable by the individual victims. Identity fraud is often but not necessarily the consequence of identity theft.” (Federal Trade Commission – 2006 Identity Theft Survey Report).
Personal information can be stolen without committing identity theft using the information they have about every single person. One such data breach occurred with the Sony PlayStation Network and millions of their users. Once the users are notified, there are 10 things they can do when they know their data has been compromised:
1. Change your passwords
2. Change your secret answers
3. Check your online accounts for suspicious activity
4. Watch your bank accounts for mysterious transfers and purchases
5. Report the