U.S. and Russia lead the world in account breaches.

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Accessed on 14 June 2022, 2101 UTC.

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Russ Roberts


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PCMag SecurityWatch
These 2 Countries Lead the World in Account Breaches

We're number one!...in data breaches. As PCMag's Jason Cohen writes, the United States is the most breached country, with roughly 2.3 billion compromised accounts. Russia comes second, with 2.2B affected accounts, followed by China, Germany, and France. American accounts make up around 15% of all online breaches globally. More than two-thirds of American accounts are leaked with a password, putting 72% of them in danger of an account takeover that could lead to extortion, identity theft, or other cybercrimes.

The report states that more than 8.7 billion American last names, first names, passwords, usernames, and other data have been sold or leaked online since 2004. This means that there is a good chance that usernames have been grouped with other personal data, giving criminals direct access to various victims’ profiles, emails, photos, or documents.

For information on ways to protect yourself in the future, check out our guide to handling the aftermath of a data breach.

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Do You Need a VPN at Home?

You may want to consider adding a VPN to your home's online toolbox. As PCMag senior security analyst Max Eddy writes, a VPN adds a layer of privacy protection to your online activities by routing your traffic through an encrypted tunnel between you and anyone who tries to spy on you.

The most common spy you'll probably face? The company that provides you access to the internet. The US Congress allows ISPs to sell data about users and their online activities to anyone. ISPs say this information will be anonymized.

A VPN also makes it much harder for advertisers to pin online traffic to you. That said, there are numerous other ways to be tracked online, and a VPN won't protect against all of them.

There are plenty of good reasons a home VPN may be the right option, but will you use it? Speed is always an issue with VPNs. If you are too frustrated with reduced internet speeds, don't use a VPN at home.

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