Data Breaches 🚨

What the Twitch data breach shows us about data privacy

Twitch is the latest major platform to be exposed in a massive data leak. And while it may be interesting to get a look at how much Twitch streamers make, is that the real issue with the Twitch data breach?

2021 has been a turbulent year in the world of data. Companies such as T-Mobile and Microsoft have been the victims of serious data breaches that have exposed the personal information of tens of millions of users. A whistleblower has pulled back the veil of Facebook’s operations and further confirmed what most of us already knew: Facebook puts profits before people. And now, the world’s most popular video game streaming service, Twitch, has been exploited in a data attack.

Twitch’s leak resulted in over 100 gigabytes of data being exposed. And this data contained information about Twitch’s source code, their unreleased projects and products, and how much revenue the most popular streamers earn on the platform. Despite the fact that the breach is indicative of serious security shortcomings which could jeopardize the privacy of millions of users, most individuals and media outlets seem fixated on the revenue aspect of the leak. 

And while most are focused on the earnings of the platform’s top streamers, there are serious privacy implications being ignored. After all, data breaches can have disastrous consequences for those exposed in them. The personal information of users are exploited in nearly half of all data breaches, and therefore their privacy and financial security are put at risk. So, let’s explore why data breaches are so dangerous and why this latest breach highlights the risk you take when you use the internet without protective measures.

Threats to your online privacy

Rather than honing in on the revenue that the platform’s most popular creators pull in, we should be concerned with the potential damage to Twitch’s 140 million monthly active users.

Thankfully, according to Twitch, there seems to be no evidence of the breach exposing log-in credentials. And since Twitch doesn’t store full credit card numbers, the credit card information of users was not put at risk either. Still, this breach highlights an issue with Twitch’s security measures, especially since there could be more user data released. According to The Verge, the leak is only “part one”, implying that there is more info to come. This is especially concerning considering the hackers have claimed to be able to expose the entirety of Twitch. Meaning it’s not just Twitch’s inner workings and streamer revenue that’s at risk. The implication of a site-wide risk could have harmful consequences for the service’s users.

Why are data breaches dangerous?

So, why exactly are data breaches so dangerous? Well, the danger comes from the nature of the data that breaches expose. The reason that “part one” of the Twitch leak wasn’t particularly dangerous to users is because their personal information wasn’t included in the leak. But, as previously mentioned, nearly half of all data attacks compromise the personal information of users . Meaning that your sensitive information is at constant risk on the web! 

As detailed here, hackers and scammers can obtain your sensitive personal information through data breaches. And with that information, they can open lines of credit in your name, impersonate you online, and entrap your loved ones in phishing schemes. Which is precisely why the Twitch leak, and other data breaches like it, are so dangerous. Because when your data leaks, your personal information is now at the mercy of internet bad guys. It may be interesting to peer into the windows of Twitch. But the larger issue is how reckless they, and most other companies, are with your data. And what exactly can you do? Well, the safest thing would be to erase your information from the internet entirely. But if you’re not quite ready for something so drastic, there’s another way to stay safe on the web.

How to stay protected on the internet

There’s unfortunately no way for you to prevent data breaches from occurring entirely. The sad truth is that in today’s digital age your data is an extremely valuable commodity. And consequently, dangerous people and groups are always trying to get their hands on it. But what you can do is monitor your data for threats and take back control of your privacy. 

That’s where Privacy Bee comes in. Privacy Bee is a comprehensive data privacy service that can help you stay safe as you surf the web. With 24/7 threat monitoring, data broker removal services, and a free browser extension, Privacy Bee helps you customize your privacy preferences while online. Rather than blindly trusting each and every site you visit, Privacy Bee lets you choose which companies are trustworthy. And in turn, lets you pick and choose which companies have access to your data. All of these features work to put control of your data back in your hands and keep your personal information away from the unknowns of the internet. 

And the coolest part? You can start protecting yourself and your family for absolutely free. Yep, Privacy Bee offers a 100% privacy evaluation. Meaning you can see if your data is at risk, and then take the necessary steps to secure it. So what are you waiting for? Plug your various online leaks with Privacy Bee today!