Cerebral, an online platform that offers mental health care services, recently suffered a data breach that may have affected up to 3.18 million users. According to its report, the breach was due to the company’s use of third-party pixel trackers.
Cerebral did not say the exact number of users affected. However, the company said it had taken steps to ease the breach’s impact.
What Exactly Are Tracking Pixels?
Tracking pixels are tiny pieces of code that businesses can embed on their websites, online ads, or marketing emails.
Whenever you use a webpage, ad, or email that contains a tracking pixel, it sends a message to a server. This message can collect data about the users, including their behavior and activity.
But criminals can use these pixels maliciously, posing a significant risk to users’ privacy.
Cerebral has been using pixels since it started in October 2019. By using third-party pixel
trackers, Cerebral left themselves open to illegal access to their system.
Consequently, the hackers were able to get their hands on users’ personal information, including their names, medical histories, and health insurance plans.
What Are the Consequences of a Data Breach?
Data breaches can have far-reaching effects on both individuals and companies. Identity theft, financial losses, and reputational damage are just a few of the dangers.
It was on Jan. 3, 2023, that Cerebral uncovered the breach. The company found out it had
mistakenly shared sensitive user information with other companies, including mental health evaluations, findings, and treatment plans.
The breach also exposed user subscription plans. Unfortunately, this put Cerebral in violation of HIPAA regulations to safeguard people’s private health information.
How Can Businesses Avoid a Data Breach?
To prevent data breaches, you must understand the potential risks of using third-party trackers. Protecting your customers’ data and being wary of data breaches is essential.
To keep your business safe from a data breach:
- Check for weak spots and threats to your business.
- Use passwords and access controls to protect critical information.
- Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity or unauthorized access.
- Train your employees to spot and deal with security problems.
- Have a plan in case there is a security breach.
The Cerebral breach highlights the importance of keeping users’ information safe. As a business, you must remain proactive in securing your data and staying updated with the latest security measures.