Exposed BBQ Spice Rub
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 security breach, someone could easily take something out of context. That’s what happened to Simone’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 addresses and schedules 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 even recipes.
“We didn’t take ourselves too seriously,” Simone 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 Simone had shared after one of those barbeques—not her office-famous BBQ sauce recipe (that one is still safe), but her secret mix of seasonings for grilling.
Ingredients + Instructions
Fill a spice bottle like this:
1/2 bottle with ground black pepper
1/4 bottle with Tony Cheshire's Original Creole mix
The rest are evenly divided between the remaining 1/4 of the bottle left:
Goyo Abodo Poultry Spice (Add a little bit more of this than the the onion and garlic.)
Cayenne pepper (Use to spice it up or not. Make sure you use some though)
Make sure you sprinkle a LOT on on both sides and press into the ribs, chicken, or other grillables. Best to let the spices sit overnight for super tastiness.
Though a secret, that seasoning recipe was not the most personal email to get out.
“When these emails came out it was very embarrassing.” Simone’s coworkers started to find out more than they needed to know about each other. Who got a raise and who didn’t, the details of a rough break-up, the inside jokes not everyone was a part of. Once that privacy was gone, everyone felt like they had to be more guarded around each other.
“People started to leave the company,” Simone said. “There was some bitterness there.”
On top of the emotional repercussions of having their personal information exposed to their colleagues, there was also the very real threat of having their accounts hacked or identity stolen. That threat has continued. Locking down accounts, changing passwords and enabling two-factor authentication can help prevent hacks, but once your data is out there, it can be hard to take complete control back. “There is a lot of change over of credit cards,” Simone said describing how she tries to protect herself from fraud. “Once a year, once every two years.”
This isn’t the case with most breaches. In 2018 alone there have already been over 600 data breaches with over 22 million records exposed, and in most of those cases the people affected don’t have this extreme depth of personal information exposed. However, with so many people being affected, Simone thinks empathy is one of the most important things to have when a breach does occur.
“I think it's important for people to put themselves in the shoes of someone this has happened to. you realise ‘my god that is someone whose personal information was stolen and now everything that they had privately is on the internet,’ how would I feel if that happened to me?”