Were You Exposed in the GOP Data Breach?

Political information on nearly every registered U.S. voter was exposed this month...

Deep Root Analytics, a political-data contractor employed by the Republican National Committee stored a huge amount of data "in the clear" online... without any sort of password or security to protect it.

It included names, addresses of voters, birthdates, social-media posts, who you likely voted for in 2008 and 2012, your likely position on issues from President Trump's "America First" foreign policy, what you think about gun ownership, and even your predicted religious affiliation.

The size and detail of the data trove is simply massive...

All told, it contained about 9.5 billion data points on 198 million U.S. citizens... And plenty of information was exposed that could be used to steal your identity or get into your bank account.

The company says that it doesn't think its data were accessed by hackers. But even if it was, there's not much you can do to force it or other political-analytic companies to keep future data breaches from happening.

As I warned my Retirement Millionaire subscribers last week, you must protect yourself against an online "mega" attack...

Around the world, more than 1 billion data records were stolen last year...

Most of these breaches involved security threats that put at least 10 million identities at risk all at once... so-called "mega breaches."

Longtime subscribers know we wrote about this recently when Yahoo confirmed that more than 500 million user accounts were hacked in 2014... one of the biggest data breaches ever.

In 2016, more than 15 million Americans had their personal information stolen. A record high.

With the rise of these mega breaches, our go-to advice remains the same...

Close old accounts. With old accounts that you don't log into, you may not realize when a hack happens. Keep your accounts streamlined and close out old ones.

Use updated and "unhackable" passwords. And if you're not able to remember more complicated password answers, you can write them down (just keep the paper secure) or use a password manager like LastPass. LastPass can even generate the answers for you. You can download the free basic program right here.

Take advantage of two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication requires your password plus another piece of information – like a code sent to your e-mail or mobile device associated with your account – to log in to a website.

Come up with unusual security questions and answers. Many websites ask extra "security questions" when you register. Like your first pet's name, the color of your first car, or your mother's maiden name.

Here's the problem: Instead of protecting your personal account information, they may be doing the exact opposite. The easier a question is to remember, the easier it is for a hacker to guess...

I recommend you create your own question... something that needs a detailed answer that someone can't find online. Or if you can't do that, give unrelated answers. For example, if the question is "What was the color of your first car," answer with something like "campingmelon" or – even more secure – a random sequence of letters, numbers, and symbols.

For more tips on how to maintain your online and "real life" privacy in America, I put together a full special report a few years ago. Retirement Millionaire subscribers can access it right here.

And if you'd like to learn more ways to protect your privacy online, read The Doctor's Protocol Field Manual. Retirement Millionaire subscribers can read a digital copy of my book immediately right here. (Start on page 49.) And if you'd prefer a physical Field Manual copy, you can get one by clicking right here.

What We're Reading...

  • Something different: I'm on the cover of American Consequences, a new magazine edited by P.J. O'Rourke... Subscribe for free here.

Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement, Dr. David Eifrig and the Retirement Millionaire Daily Research Team June 28, 2017