Oblivious to the breadcrumbs of personal information being left behind in the online data sources, individuals fall prey to various online data theft. Such sources include social media profiles. 

Commonly, data tracking is made possible by cookies on websites and default permissions setup for mobile applications installed. Website associated cookies may be required for its basic functioning and for quick subsequent access by remembering user details, but often they also have third party cookies for user tracking to improve experience. While third party cookies help deliver relevant content, they also gather personal data and preferences. Unnecessary permissions to access data on phones may provide certain mobile applications free access to user’s data. 

Data breaches (e.g.- Twitter data breach in December 2021) have been a regular event despite the increased vigilance against cyber-attacks and have caused large databases vulnerable to theft and sale to interested unauthorised parties who then can misuse such data for stalking, misinformation and other targeted attacks on individuals and companies.  

Truth Labs has examined cases involving hacking, blackmail by falsification or manipulation of data procured with unconsented access from devices of individuals, not surprisingly by persons very close to them with intentions of misuse.  

Truth Labs has examined cases of email phishing in organizations that suffer significant loss due to bank transaction frauds where money was transferred to foreign accounts by way of data and communication manipulation. 

Truth Labs has also examined cases of ransom-ware attacks, where root cause analysis indicated email phishing and weak password hacking resulting in network compromise. 

Be alert and stay safe! 

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