Recipes for online privacy from Firefox
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Exposed BBQ Spice Rub

 
 

It all started when…

When you think about what could damage a relationship, a data breach isn’t likely at the top of your list. After all, the word “data” is front and center. When most people think of data, they think of account numbers, passwords, purchases or browser history.

Our data online is really a silhouette of who we are—pieces of our literal identities, like our home addresses, cell phone numbers, social securities numbers and bank accounts combined with things like emails and Facebook messages make up a collection of most things we’ve ever said or done online.

If the content of any of those emails or messages were to get wrapped up in a data breach, someone could easily take something out of context. That’s what happened to David’s coworkers after their company was part of a data breach. Tens of thousands of emails were leaked and made searchable online. Those emails included a ton of personal information, from phone numbers and addresses to direct deposit information and all the makings of an identity theft nightmare. Those emails also included a different kind of personal information: jokes, complaints, arguments, plans for potlucks and recipes.

“We didn’t take ourselves too seriously,” David said, reminiscing about the company culture before the breach. “It was a fun environment to work for, there was a lot of joking and teasing. Each of us really took cooking kinda seriously. Everyone had their speciality. I have large barbeques, and people swear: ‘you have got to start selling your BBQ sauce.’” One of the emails exposed in the breach contained a recipe David had shared after one of those barbeques—not his office-famous BBQ sauce recipe (that one is still safe), but his secret mix of seasonings for grilling.