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How the Google Plus Data Breach Affects You

The mammoth tech company faces some tough times.

A vulnerability in one of Google Plus’s APIs has left more than 500,000 users’s information open to third-party developers. Usernames, email addresses, date of birth, and profile photos are some of the private information that was breached.

Data breaches are on the rise. Between 2016 to 2017, at least 73% of companies have experienced a breach. The more online services you rely on, the more your data has the potential to be exposed and used to steal your identity.

Our security team recommends protection for your Android by using dfndr security, which offers features to not only block phishing attempts, but also inform you of data breaches.

It can be nerve-wracking to not know if one of your accounts has been compromised. PSafe takes the guess work out of it for you.

Here are some other quick tips if your private data is ever breached:

  1. Change the affected passwords right away. Use a password that you haven’t used elsewhere and create one that’s alphanumeric, with uppercase and lowercase letters, and/or symbols.
  2. Request a fraud alert. Also known as credit alerts, apply for one online or call one of the consumer credit-reporting bureaus, such as Experian or TransUnion to request one. Fraud alerts are free and valid for 90 days. With one activated, you can monitor any fraudulent activity, like someone ordering a credit card in your name.
  3. Report it to the appropriate financial institutions. Contact your bank and credit card company to report the breach right away. It’s wise to do this before any strange activity is noticed, because each institution has different rules regarding fraudulent charges. You don’t want to be on the hook if a cyber thief tried to withdraw money from your bank account! To be safe, your current cards will likely be cancelled and new ones issued.

Luckily, Google Plus reported there was no evidence of third-party developers even being aware of the flaw. The scandal comes on the heels of Google announcing their plans to phase out Google Plus by August 2019, due to low traction and adoption by users. 

Remember that when data breaches make headlines, they don’t affect faceless strangers, but can affect you directly. The best defence is knowledge and having security software that does more than block viruses.