T-Mobile’s August breach: 4 ways to secure your data after a cyberattack

T-Mobile is still investigating its massive data breach from earlier this month, which affected over 54 million people. The breach includes names, driver’s license numbers, Social Security numbers and device identification (IMEI and IMSI) numbers for subscribers, former customers and prospective customers who may have been interested in T-Mobile service at one point. The breach includes customers of Metro by T-Mobile, too. That means almost anyone who’s given their information to T-Mobile could be affected.

T-Mobile’s CEO, Mike Sievert, released a blog post with an update on the cyberattack. “Fortunately, the breach did not expose any customer financial information, credit card information, debit or other payment information.” The wireless carrier is now offering free identity theft protection, advanced spam-blocking, and its Account Takeover Protection service to protect postpaid customers from their phone numbers being stolen. Sievert also mentioned that T-Mobile formed long-term partnerships with Mandiant and KPMG LLP for more cybersecurity expertise.

The company has also reset PINs for all prepaid customers after the exposure of 850,000 accounts, but it’s not enough. The mobile carrier now faces a class-action lawsuit for the breach. In last Friday’s press release, T-Mobile reported “no indication” that financial data like credit card or other payment information was compromised. The company is still completing its investigation and will notify people whose data was accessed. Right now, there’s no way to tell if you should take additional action, but Sievert confirmed that “there is no ongoing risk to customer data from this breach.”

While the situation develops, you can read our guide to check if your password is on the dark web. We’ll also keep you posted about a possible class-action suit against T-Mobile. Here are some things you can do to help secure your sensitive data against any hack, regardless of whether your information has been included in any number of data breaches.

Freeze your credit with all three bureaus

One of the first things you should do is put a freeze on your credit. Doing so will prevent anyone with your information from opening a line of credit, or taking out any loans under your name. Freezing your credit won’t take long: You’ll just need to fill out a form with Equifax, Experian and Transunion (one from each company) to make the request.

The downside to freezing your credit is that when you want to make certain purchases, such as upgrading your iPhone, you’ll need to go through the process of briefly removing your credit freeze — and then refreezing once you’re done.

Yes, it’s inconvenient. But the extra time you take to freeze, unfreeze and then refreeze your credit is worth it and pales in comparison to the time you’d spend trying to reverse the damage done by someone opening a credit card or line of credit in your name…Read more>>


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