Editors’ Note: This article was updated in September 2018.
For consumers, recent news stories are frightening—and increasingly familiar:
- A massive data breach involving the credit reporting agency Equifax exposed millions of Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, names, and dates of birth.
- The web service provider Yahoo acknowledged that a data breach touched 3 billion of its accounts—three times as many as originally revealed.
Not long before the Equifax and Yahoo headlines, national retailers such as Target and Home Depot suffered major data breaches that involved millions of stolen credit card numbers.