AP report: Wikileaks publishes medical records of ordinary citizens

AP report: Wikileaks publishes medical records of ordinary citizens

(WTOL) - You've heard before - information thought to be private, was made public by WikiLeaks as part of the organization's global crusade to expose government secrets. Now, a report from the Associated Press shows medical files of hundreds of ordinary citizens, including survivors of sexual abuse, sick children and the mentally ill, were also published.

A cyber security expert at the University of Toledo says, unfortunately he's not surprised by this latest data dump of ordinary citizens.

"It's more of a volunteer organization, and a lot of people are working for free actually with this organization. So many of them may not actually care what information is going out, as long as it's not hurting them," said Ahmad Javaid, who teaches computer science at UT.

Javaid says this latest data dump from WikiLeaks didn't involve any US citizens, but this could be just the beginning when it comes to releasing private information of ordinary people.

"I don't think this is going to improve. Only it can stay like this, or it can become worse in the future," he says.

Javaid says unfortunately, there's nothing we can do to protect ourselves from medical records being hacked, since we don't have control of them, hospitals do, but we should be doing simple things to protect ourselves from online hacks of other kinds.

"Try to have things as secure as possible. If you have a phone, don't ever not have a pin code or a password. Always have that," said Javaid.

Also, password-protect and hide your wifi and make security questions and passwords more difficult to guess, because Javaid says hackers will take the time to guess them.

Javaid also says be weary of downloading free software or apps that promise to protect your data.

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