Data Leeks: Made with love, leaked by hackers

Data breaches are on the rise. According to web security experts, the frequency of data breaches almost doubled from 2016 to 2017, and 73% of all U.S. companies have experienced some form of a data breach. And yet, while data breach incidents are increasing, many people brush them off unless they are personally affected. That’s a problem.

Data may seem transactional, but all of it reveals something personal. If someone were able to hack into your email, what could they find? Your cell phone number at the bottom of your email signature? Photos of your friends and family? Your address included in an invitation to a dinner party? A secret family recipe? And what could be done with all of that information?

A lot, it turns out. More than people expect. Gabriela Ivens, a researcher and digital privacy advocate, was curious about what information was compromised during data breaches over the years. Her research revealed that all sorts of personal information can be exposed in a breach, and in the case of particularly bad email hacks, actual body content of messages can get released. Within those messages, details of our personal lives can be found. Things like recipes, hundreds of them.

In finding those recipes, Gabi also found the people attached to them—regular people who had been sharing recipes with their friends and coworkers that had their information exposed in well-known data breaches. Partnering with Gabi, we talked to a few of those people and are sharing their stories (along with their recipes) in a collection called Data Leeks.

Read their stories to get a better idea of the real, human implications that come along with our data, and learn about how Firefox helps you protect your own privacy. Consider it food for thought.

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