Personal Data Sent by Mail by Mistake

Personal Data Sent by Mail by Mistake

Profile picture for user LukasVileikis
Lukas Vileikis
06 July 2021

Personal data - email addresses, usernames, passwords, IP addresses, credit card data or pretty much any sensitive data sent by mail is pretty much always a problem. It can be an even bigger problem if it’s done by mistake. It’s pretty much always a problem because:

  • “Personal data”, as already mentioned, can include a wide variety of data ranging from data that may not be overly sensitive such as usernames and email addresses to very sensitive personal data like passwords, IP addresses, geographical locations, credit card numbers, names and surnames, medical records and so on and so forth.
  • Different types of personal data being leaked might lead to different kinds of problems including identity theft, the leakage of sensitive medical or credit card data, etc.
  • If personal data is revealed (in any kind of capacity) by mistake, the person revealing it might not be aware of the full extent of his or her actions meaning that the leakage of such personal data might be even more severe than anyone thinks and it can lead to other issues too.

These issues can lead to other, sometimes mind-boggling issues too - not even mentioning the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - if one of your employees leak such data, sends it via email by mistake or by other means, it’s almost always going to be a breach of the GDPR which means that it could cost your organization up to 20 million EUR or up to 4% your annual global turnover, whichever is higher - paying tens of millions for a single email now doesn’t sound so fun, does it?

Personal Data and Backups

Once personal data has been sent by email by mistake, there are almost always going to be consequences. Consequences in the form of GDPR, consequences in the form of employee turnover etc. However, what’s also important is the fact that you must have backups of your data. By recovering your backups on, say, your local server, you may be able to dig into what personal data has been leaked exactly. We will now look into how you might be able to do that using Backup Ninja - one of the backup solutions for backing up MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Percona or TimescaleDB instances.

To backup your database data using Backup Ninja, you would first need to log in to the service. After logging in you will be able to observe the status of your database servers - you will be able to see how many backups have been completed, how many of them are inactive and how many of them failed to execute completely:

Backup Dashboard

Click on the Backups button to observe a list of backups - it will look like so:

Backup Details

In this case, you can see the name of your backups, whether they are uploaded to the cloud, compressed and encrypted or not, what’s the status of them (did they fail or were they successful), when did they start, on what server, what’s their schedule (schedules can also be expanded - just click on one of them):

When are The Backups Scheduled For?

If you want to view the backups you have scheduled, simply click on the Schedules button:


Then you will be able to show or edit the backups existing in the schedule or duplicate the schedule, the schedule might also be deleted.

Backups can also be scheduled - simply select a backup method, name your schedule, select your backup server and select what kind of backups you want to perform, also the backup method (mysqldump, Percona XtraBackup or also, if you so desire, you can backup files):

Scheduling Backups

Now select where you want to store your backups - with Backup Ninja, backups can be stored either locally or in the cloud. If you elect to store your backups on the cloud, select your cloud credentials, select a retention policy type (days, weeks, months or even years if you so desire), and enter the amount of days you want to store your backups for:

Backup Storage

Now, you may change the name pattern you want to use for the backup files, select whether you want to use compression or encryption and schedule your backups:

Backup NameWhen are The Backups Scheduled For?

Backups, as you can see, can also be scheduled hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or even minutely.


Having your personal data disclosed isn’t exactly ideal - especially when it’s sent by mail by mistake. Personal data sent by mail by mistake can lead to a range of diverse and complex issues, but thankfully, if you have backups of your data (or if you have smart colleagues at work that can help you out in this scenario), you should be fine. If you want to take a deeper dive into what Backup Ninja can offer, be sure to do so today or head over into the documentation section to learn more about the product.