Based on the number of exposed and compromised records, the Identity Theft Resource Center compiled a list of the Top 15 worst data-breach incidents that occurred in the first six months of 2012. It was reported that a total of 189 major data security breaches occurred from January through June 2012, exposing approximately 13.73 million records of supposedly protected information.

These breaches occurred across multiple industries—government, banking, healthcare, energy and education—and various types of information were compromised such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, bank account numbers, medical records, credit card numbers, student ID numbers, etc. The causes for such significant breaches were varied and included unauthorized access, server errors, data being unencrypted, lack of password protection, malware infections and hacker attacks.

Below is the list of the Top 15 worst breaches including the company name and total number of records exposed due to the breach:

  1. New York State Electric & Gas Co. – 1.8 million files
  2. Global Payments, Inc  – 1.5 million payment-card numbers
  3. California Department of Child Support Services – 800,000 records lost
  4. Utah Department of Technology Services – 780,000 patient files stolen
  5. In-Home Support Services, California Department of Social Services – 701,000 individuals personal information went missing
  6. University of Nebraska – 654,000 files
  7. University of North Carolina-Charlotte – 350,000 files “accidentally made available for three months”
  8. Emory Healthcare, Inc – 315,000 patients’ information went missing
  9. South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services – 228,435 Medicaid beneficiaries’ information compromised
  10. Thrift Savings Plan – 123,000 federal employees’ information breached
  11. Florida Department of Children and Families – 100,000 childcare workers’ personal information exposed
  12. Housatonic Community College – 87,667 individuals’ information exposed
  13. Digital Playground – 40,000 users’ personal data hacked
  14. University of Tampa – 36,818 personal records accidentally accessible to the public
  15. Howard University Hospital – 34,503 patients’ information exposed

Is your data susceptible to a security breach? Find out more about the worst breaches at