Social Security numbers are some of the most common data points used to verify identities. As a result, they’re some of the most stolen and lost data points as well.
Some of these incidents happen as a result of accidental leaks. Others are a result of the deliberate efforts of data thieves.
Pierce County voters recently had their information mistakenly shared in a public records request. While officials are working with the recipient to request they delete it, it should be noted that deleted information can easily be recovered.
Last December, a PayPal breach saw 35,000 users’ Social Security numbers exposed in a credential stuffing attack. Given how the full scope of an attack often takes months to discover, this total could only show part of the damage.