So… what happens if your data is stolen?

We spend a lot of time on this blog telling you how to better protect your sensitive data with Marshal. But while it may seem obvious, we haven’t explicitly stated why you need to protect your sensitive data and what happens after data is stolen.

Thankfully, the good folks over at CNBC have a great article talking about how thieves use your data after a breach. The article cites a recent FTC study that found:

When leaked consumer data like credit card numbers or email login details are made public, it’s a matter of minutes (and at best, hours) before thieves make an unauthorized access attempt...

If your sensitive data gets out — it will get used! The study also found:

Thieves were most interested in the credit card numbers, with FTC researcher spotting frequent charge attempts even weeks after the data had been leaked.

Included in the CNBC piece is a nice infographic complete with a “Breach Risk Meter,” which details how concerned you should be about the various types of data that gets leaked.

Email addresses and phone numbers can be used in phishing attacks or as stepping stones to get more important sensitive data.

Credit card numbers are used to make fraudulent purchases.

Social Security numbers can be used by thieves to “impersonate you, generating new loans and credit accounts, medical debts, faux tax returns and criminal records.”

That is all bad stuff, but a good reason to run a free Marshal scan today!

With Marshal, you can immediately identify any exposed Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, phone numbers or email addresses that are sitting in your cloud accounts.

Once you find those exposed bits, you can make sure they aren’t being shared, and you can take appropriate steps to remove the data before a data breach happens.