Yahoo hit with lawsuit following data breach

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Internet giant sued by user who says his online accounts on other sites were exposed as a result of the incident

Internet giant Yahoo has spent the last month trying to repair the damage done by a data breach that saw a file containing 450,000 users’ login details exposed by hackers, and Bloomberg has reported that a man from New Hampshire, US, has now decided to sue the company for its failure to protect his information.

Jeff Allan’s case relates to a notification he claims to have received that explained his eBay account had been compromised following the Yahoo incident, with cyber criminals accessing his private information on the auction site.

With Mr Allan using the same login details for a number of online accounts, the event highlights the importance of remembering to vary passwords and usernames to avoid the potential for them to be exposed across a range of sites if they fall into the wrong hands.

And as Yahoo prepares to face legal action, the case also demonstrates the need for companies to take sufficient steps to protect their users’ data due to the reputational and financial consequences of failing to provide the necessary security to people’s accounts.

Indeed, whether it’s when implementing electronic document storage or backing up files online, businesses are legally required to safeguard the sensitive information that they store due to the potential for criminals to manipulate details for identity theft and other illegal purposes.

What’s more, considering that companies not only risk breaking the law but also have to endure particularly costly damage to their reputation by failing to adequately protect consumers’ information, taking time to implement the appropriate security measures could be the difference between profit and loss.

And if Mr Allan is successful in his case against Yahoo, the organisation could be exposed to a range of claims from other users who had their account details exposed as a result of the breach.

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