Safety and Security

TaskRabbit Takes Website, App Down After Computer Hack

TaskRabbit — the freelancer marketplace owned by IKEA, the Swedish furniture retailer — has been the victim of a hack that prompted the company to take its website and app offline Monday (April 16).

The Wall Street Journal, citing TaskRabbit, reported the company alerted customers that they should change their passwords as it looks into what it is calling a “cybersecurity incident.” It told The Wall Street Journal it’s working with a security firm but wouldn’t say what happened, how many customers may have been impacted by the attack and how it learned that it may have been compromised. TaskRabbit said clients and freelancers have been notified, and that any uncompleted tasks as a result of the interruptions will be rescheduled. Workers will be compensated for the tasks they couldn’t complete on Monday, noted the paper.  A spokesperson from IKEA, which acquired TaskRabbit in 2017, said it was unaware of the breach but noted that IKEA’s website is run independently of TaskRabbit.

Sharing economy players — like Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit and Thumbtack — make it easier for un- and semi-skilled working and middle-class people with supply and capacity to find new buyers — and sources of income. According to recent statistics from the McKinsey Global Institute, as many as one-third of workers in the current economy are engaged in this kind of short-term, ad-hoc work. What’s more, the vast majority of both full-time and part-time workers take these jobs out of choice, because they enjoy the benefits the new gig economy offers, rather than out of necessity or a lack of other job opportunities.

According to data from the PYMNTS November Gig Economy Index, 84 percent of gig workers would do more work if they were paid faster, while 26 percent of gig employees said they receive payments through PayPal and 69 percent of gig employees said they would not quit their gig for a full-time job. Meanwhile, 17 percent of gig employees lost 10 to 20 percent of their income to payment mechanisms.

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