It was reported earlier this week that T-Mobile was the victim of a cyber attack that exposed more than 54 million past, present, and potential customers to greater risk of fraud and identity theft. For some people, that means that their full name, date of birth, Social Security number and even information from their driver’s license are being shopped around online in exchange for a few bitcoin.
Here is what we has been reported about the hack, which data was stolen and what customers should do to protect themselves.
Change your password and PIN
T-Mobile suggests you do this, and Total agrees — changing your account password and PIN should be one of the first things you do. That’s because the personal information made available through the data breach can give an attacker almost everything they need to gain access to your T-Mobile account. Once an attacker has access to one of your accounts, they are more likely to try and access more of your accounts.
Freeze your credit
Some of the personal data made available through this data breach could be a gold mine for attackers who want to make use of your credit. That’s why it is highly recommended to freeze your credit reports. You’ll have to contact each of the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — with your requests, but freezing your credit is completely free, doesn’t affect your credit score and prevents anyone with your personal information from opening new lines of credit. In the event that you need to open a new line of credit, you are able to temporarily “unfreeze” your account(s), if necessary.
Consider two-factor authentication
T-Mobile offers multiple options for account security (multi-factor authentication) to keep your account secure by adding an extra layer of protection for your online login. Two-step verification requires you to pass an additional verification step when signing into your account. After setting up the two-step verification during registration, you can also use these methods to authenticate:
- Security questions
- Fingerprint or FaceID
- Google Authenticator
Keep monitoring the situation
T-Mobile’s investigation is really only getting started. But hopefully the company’s next updates will give us all a better sense of the attack’s scope, and how best to respond.
Although Total has no affiliation with T-Mobile, our cybersecurity experts have seen data breaches several times before and can help provide you with guidance on any of your cybersecurity needs. Please reach out, 888-777-8093, if you’d like to learn more about our cybersecurity solutions.