This year is not even half over, and it's already looking like a banner year for hackers.
A rash of high-profile digital breaches and large-scale data dumps has affected hundreds of millions of users of prominent websites, with millions more impacted by breaches of brick-and-mortar businesses. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, over 6 million records have been exposed already this year. This follows high-profile attacks on sites like Ashley Madison (nearly 31 million accounts) last year and Adobe (152 million accounts) in 2013.
More often than not, hacks are more of an inconvenience for the victims than a traumatic life event. If you have been impacted and don't take action (like changing your password and monitoring other sites you frequent), that information can be used for everything from identity theft to more serious forms of harassment — and continue to unfold years later as information gets sold and resold.
Wondering if you've been impacted? Take a look at some of the year's biggest data dumps — and pay a semi-regular visit to the Have I Been Pwned? website to make sure an attack of a site you frequent (or once frequented and subsequently forgot about) hasn't occurred.