Data breaches have become a danger on social media, but some websites handle our data less well than others.
In Ireland alone, the Data Protection Commission received notifications of 6,549 data breaches last year and fined Meta-owned WhatsApp €225 million for a series of compliance failures.
Recent years have also seen high-profile violations affecting the HSE and several involving Facebookbut the search for proxy rack exposes the extent of the volume of attacks and the weight of the people concerned since the advent of social networks.
Social media sites with the most data breaches
Facebook was caught in a total of eight data breaches since its launch in 2004, including the most notorious Cambridge Analytica scandal, which, while not technically a breach, involved the company selling the data of some 87 million users.
On either side of that, there were breaches in 2013, two more in 2018 and 2019, which in total exposed the personal data of over 2 billion users.
Microsoft-owned LinkedIn recorded its first data breach in 2012, saying some 6.5 million accounts were affected before updating the estimated figure of 165 million in 2016.
The names, workplaces, personal email addresses, job titles and individual profile links of an additional 66 million users were deleted in a leak in 2018, and the company suffered a total of four offences.
Twitter, taken over by Elon Musk last week, fell victim to a Russian hacker attack in 2016, affecting the records of 32 million users.
Two years later, the company urged 330 million users to change their passwords due to a glitch in the site’s code that temporarily exposed them, followed by similar issues on a smaller scale in 2020 and 2022. bringing his total violations to four.
Tied for second with four violations, deposed search giant Yahoo! suffered its first breach in 2012 when a SQL injection attack exposed usernames and passwords in plain text format, followed by a hack that affected billions of users in 2013, and two more in 2014 and 2018.
To complete the top five, MySpace resisted Three data breaches, the first in 2008 shortly after being surpassed in total user count by Facebook when the data of 360 million users was stolen.
This information was sold in 2016 when the site became a relic of an earlier internet era, and there was also a similar sized hack in 2013.
The social media sites that lost the most user data
More than 3.5 billion users have been affected by data breaches involving Yahoo, including the 3 billion affected by the 2013 breach.
2. Facebook – 2.1 billion
Four separate breaches in 2019 pushed the number of Facebook users whose data was stolen to over 2 billion.
3. LinkedIn – 1.1 billion
The majority of LinkedIn’s 1.1 billion users whose data was exposed were affected by a breach in 2021 that resulted in the data of 700 million users being sold on the dark web.
4. MySpace- 719m
These three breaches exposed the data of 719 million MySpace users. The now inactive site had just 7 million users in 2019.
5. Sina Weibo – 538m
Data from 539 million users of the Chinese social media site, including 172 million phone numbers, went on sale on the dark web in 2020.
6. Twitter – 370m
Twitter confirmed in June that a hacker gained access to the contact details of 5.4 million accounts, adding to the total number of users affected by the microblogging site.
7. Quora – 100m
Quora, a website where users can ask and answer questions, revealed that the passwords and security questions of 100 million users were exposed in a hack in 2018.
8. Dailymotion – 85m
A hacker stole more than 85 million unique email addresses and usernames from the systems of the Dailymotion video-sharing platform as well as the passwords of 18.3 million accounts during a raid in 2016.
9. Tumblr – 65m
Tumblr announced in 2016 that its security had been compromised three years earlier, resulting in the theft of user account details of 65 million people.
Some 49 million users of the Facebook-owned Instagram photo-sharing platform were exposed after an unprotected server leaked online in 2019.
Proxyrack gathered data from Have I been pwned, Human ID, Upguard and Auto-key for the study.
(Photo: Getty Images)