COLORADO SPRINGS- On Friday news broke of a data breach impacting millions of Marriott customers. This is just the latest in what seems to be an unending series of hackers stealing our personal information and using it for financial gain. Investigative Reporter Patrick Nelson is watching out for you, your family and the bottom line on this latest breach.
The Marriott data breach appears to have exposed not only credit card information, but also personal information belonging to customers. Things like their name, address, phone number, email address and date of birth. This is information that scammers often use later on to open accounts, send scam emails or steal your identity. Bottom line is they are after your money.
For the experts at the National Cybersecurity Center the news of a Marriott data breach exposing the personal information of millions of people is another example of the growing threat of cyber crimes.
“Today’s data is the new gold so we need to all treat it like that,” Jonathan Steenland the COO of the National Cybersecutiry Center in Colorado Springs.
Hackers gather your personal information through data breaches, like the one impacting Marriott customers and turn it into cash making you a target for identity theft.
“When you look at what is available on the dark web and the fact there is more money made in cyber crime now than in drug trafficking it should tell you that there is value to this day,” said Steenland.
Even if you don’t believe you’ve been impacted by the Marriott data breach, leaders at the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado say we should all assume our information is out there.
“You hear about Marriott right? That’s a big company. Those are the ones that make national headlines, but about 70% of cyber attacks occur with the small and medium sized businesses,” said Jonathan Liebert the CEO of The Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado.
As cyber experts track these sophisticated crimes, the Better Business Bureau suggests we take steps to educate ourselves about the constant threat.
“BBBscamtracker.org is a great website to use where people can go and say I got this weird phone call, or someone popped up at my door I think it’s a scam. It might be in there, or if you know it is a scam and it is not in there add it to that database so we can protect our community for scams,” said Liebert.
So what should we do right now to protect ourselves? Cyber security experts say right now you should go change passwords to important accounts, keep an eye on bank statements so you can detect any fraud, and do not click on any suspicious link in emails.