Are you or were you a MySpace user?  If so, we have bad news.

The struggling company recently announced that when they attempted to migrate all user data to new servers, something in the process went wrong. As a result, massive amounts of user data was lost.

The only way to describe the loss is catastrophic, with the company reporting that most user-uploaded videos, songs and photos added to the site between 2003 and 2015 are gone with no hope of recovery.  More than a decade’s worth of content, gone in the blink of an eye.

The company’s official announcement reads as follows:

“As a result of a server migration project, any photos, videos and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available on or from MySpace.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  If you would like more information, please contact our Data Protection officer.”

That’s it. Even worse, the migration happened more than a year ago, in February 2018.  At that time, users took to Reddit to complain about not being able to access content that was more than three years old.  Eventually, the level of complaints grew to the point that the company could no longer ignore it and finally came clean.

IT managers and business owners should take notes on this incident.  This is possibly one of the worst handlings of a data loss incident we’ve seen in recent history.  Not only was the company completely uncommunicative for more than a year, when they did finally make an announcement, it was terse.

Describing that level of data loss as an ‘inconvenience’ is not just insensitive, it’s bad business.  If the company was struggling before, that goes double now and worst of all, it was, from start to finish an entirely self-inflicted wound.

In any case, if you are, or were a MySpace user at some point, most of your older data is probably gone forever.

If a laptop is stolen or lost, and the data is not backed up, you just lost it all. Worst of all, even if you had it locked with a strong password, it’s very likely to get cracked. Once the thief succeeds, any private data that is unencrypted is free for the taking. One solution: keep sensitive and important data, files, pictures, contracts, etc., on a secure private cloud service, so it’s never on your employer’s hard drive in the first place. By storing this information in the cloud, you can immediately revoke access when a device goes missing. Side Tip: If you have important family photos, store it in Shutterfly or some other photo-storing cloud application so those are backed up as well.

Cybercrime is at an all-time high, and hackers are setting their sights on small and medium businesses who are “low hanging fruit.” Don’t be their next victim! Click here to download this free report that reveals the most common ways that hackers get in and how to protect yourself today.

We knew fairly early in the year that 2018 was on track to beat 2017 and set a new record for the number of data breaches in the year.

Afterall, 2017 had shattered 2016’s record the year before.  Now that the final numbers are in though, we can see just how big an increase we’ve seen in the number of data breaches from one year to the next.

The numbers aren’t pretty.  With 12,449 reported data breaches in 2018, we’ve seen a staggering 424 percent increase year over year. 2019 is already shaping up to be another record-breaking year.  All that to say, our problems with hackers and data security are getting worse, and there’s no end in sight.

As with last year, the United States leads the pack in terms of the total number of records exposed by data breaches. Although in terms of raw numbers, the US’s total was fairly modest. It’s simply that all of the year’s biggest breaches occurred here.

At least part of what’s driving the phenomenon of the steadily increasing number of breaches is the fact that there are a staggering number of user login credentials for sale and re-sale on the Dark Web.  These are purchased for modest sums and used by hacking groups all over the world to try their hand at breaking into various networks.

Unfortunately, given the sorry state of password security, it’s often months before a hacked account sees its password changed. That gives nefarious elements plenty of time and loads of opportunities to inflict whatever damage they will, and they’re only too happy to comply.

With the grim statistics above firmly in mind, it’s time to make data security at your firm your top priority.  Based on the numbers, it’s not a question