When it comes to saving money on products, there’s nothing better than the Black Friday sales to jump online and grab the best deals. One of the many digital marketplaces that celebrates this lunatic consumer fever every year is Amazon, where this year millions of people worldwide ordered their usual Christmas gifts on 2018’s Black Friday. However, a few days before the sales Amazon US and UK suffered a data leak that compromised user details such as names and email addresses, and though the ecommerce giant didn’t reveal any numbers, experts believe that some users in India – a country counting 150 million Amazon users – have also been affected.
On a good note, Amazon dealt with the situation pretty well. Not only was the breach confirmed to the media promptly and not kept hidden as it could have been, but affected customers also received emails by the company admitting the error.
Cyber Attacks Lurking for Data Leaks
The data leak was quickly solved by Amazon and the whole topic ended up being treated by the general media with less alarm than usual in similar cases. In the short statement provided to media outlets like The Guardian, Amazon stated that the website had “inadvertently disclosed” their names and email addresses “due to a technical error”. The ecommerce giant assumed the fault and told its customers that there was no need to change passwords or take any other action.
Despite Amazon allowing the leak to happen, a word of praise must be passed on considering how the situation was handled, as what could have been another data leak disaster seems to have been resolved without too many shockwaves. Nonetheless, it’s still smart for any client of Amazon or any other digital marketplaces to change their passwords often.
In the age of constant cyber attacks that were living in, the simplest leak can turn into a real menace, particularly when it comes to online marketplaces that deal with IDs and bank accounts of their users. Black Friday is the ultimate opportunity for criminals targeting online shoppers hoping to grab the best deals for them.
The Importance of Strong Passwords
If there’s something we can’t stress enough it’s how passwords are not given the proper treatment by most people. This vital little piece of information is the main item on attackers’ shopping lists and even if it does manage to escape their hands during a data leak, they can utilize advanced malware techniques, fake apps, and are willing to go through a whole lot more effort to get such details.
They’re often the only barrier between us and our social media, email, or bank accounts, so allowing them to fall into on other people’s hands can lead to identify theft, online fraud and many other menaces. And with all cases like this happening time and again, it’s almost unbelievable that nowadays people still choose ‘123456’, ‘password’ or other similarly laughable codes as their credentials.
Changing passwords often and for strong, unbreakable credentials is already a great help to ensure a safe online life, and thanks to password managers you don’t even need to remember or write all of them down onto paper. Using two-factor authentication whenever possible and always having a trustworthy VPN working on your device will help protect against the threats of shopping online when using public Wi-Fi.
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