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Color of Money: What you don't know about cybersecurity can cost you

Michelle Singletary on

WASHINGTON -- You know the screams you hear when watching a horror movie in a theater?

That's what I want to let out every time there's another data breach. And I'm not alone.

"We're really scared," wrote readers Ellen and David, who are still scrambling for a feeling of security after the massive Equifax breach that left 145.5 million consumer files compromised. Last week, Yahoo announced that its own breach in 2013 affected all 3 billion of its users.

These terrifying tales sent me looking for a book I had been meaning to read for quite some time. My former Washington Post colleague Brian Krebs left the newspaper in 2009 to dedicate himself to a blog on cybersecurity: KrebsOnSecurity.com. Out of his work and research came "Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime -- From Global Epidemic to Your Front Door."

The book is this month's Color of Money Book Club selection.

But can I be honest?

I read the first few chapters and set the book down. I could sense it making me so paranoid and furious that I didn't want to read any further.

Did I really want to dive deep into the underworld of cybercriminals who have become masterful in identity theft?

Why do I need to know how my personal information is stolen? I just want the hacks and heists to stop. I want the companies that collect my information to do their job and protect my data.

But Krebs has made a background believer out of me.

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