Researchers have discovered about 1,5 billion personal content files such as medical examinations, payment accounts, etc. exposed to Internet.
Researchers at Cybersecurity, Digital Shadows, used a three-month scan tool that revealed huge amounts of private data that are related to individuals and companies around the world.
Reports show that 700.000 payroll data, 60.000 tax records files and over 2.2 million medical records remain exposed along with corporate information such as plans, patents for unpublished products,
The estimated size of unprotected data is about 12 petabytes and is "freely available" to anyone with basic technical knowledge.
“The availability of personal data online makes it easier for them hackers, states or rival companies to steal sensitive information, ”said Rick Holland, Vice President of Digital Shadows.
According to researchers, users are not focused on securing and protecting their "external" digital fingerprints, even after the recent data breach events.
Third-party "incorrect storage settings, file sharing protocols, and file sharing services" are the main sources of data exposure. In fact, many users end up "backing up their data online without knowing it", explains Holland.
Such a large-scale data report can be attributed to bad security practices and file sharing protocols, which further underlines the need to raise awareness among users about security and how to protect information they share on the internet.
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