Freecycle Faces Massive Data Breach — 7 Million Users Impacted

Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross Senior Writer
Tyler Cross Tyler Cross Senior Writer

Freecycle, an online nonprofit organization for getting and sending free items, reported a data breach that exposed the information of over 7 million users.

The information that was leaked in the data breach is particularly sensitive as well. The exposed data includes:

  • Email addresses.
  • UserIDs.
  • Usernames.
  • And even passwords.

If your Freecycle account shares a username and password with other websites you use, the hackers who perpetrated the breach will be able to brute force their way into your various accounts. Passwords being leaked can lead to serious financial loss.

Since a lot of hackers use social engineering techniques to trick you into giving them money, be careful of any suspicious emails in the wake of a data breach. Always verify the sender of an email before downloading links or giving them any information at all.

Freecycle became aware of the data breach on Aug. 30 and responded by notifying the appropriate authorities. Since Freecycle is registered in Arizona, it alerted both the ICO and the appropriate US authorities.

This is one of several large-scale data breaches that have affected the UK recently, with cyber-attacks only continuing to ramp up. Recently, organizations like the UK Air Traffic Control System and the PSNI faced large breaches as well.

“On Aug. 30 we became aware of a data breach on Freecycle.org,” the report reads. “As a result, we are advising all members to change your passwords as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

It’s also important that you use different passwords and regularly update them manually or through a password manager. You should also enable two-factor (or multi-factor) authentication whenever you can to add extra layers of security to each of your accounts.

You can also use public databases like https://haveibeenpwned.com/ to check if your information has been exposed.

About the Author
Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross
Senior Writer

About the Author

Tyler is a writer at SafetyDetectives with a passion for researching all things tech and cybersecurity. Prior to joining the SafetyDetectives team, he worked with cybersecurity products hands-on for more than five years, including password managers, antiviruses, and VPNs and learned everything about their use cases and function. When he isn't working as a "SafetyDetective", he enjoys studying history, researching investment opportunities, writing novels, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends."