T-Mobile Data Breach 2021: What it Means For You

The alleged hacker responsible for T-most Mobile’s recent cyberattack has spoken out about the attack that occurred in August. Names, driver’s license numbers, Social Security numbers, and device identification (IMEI and IMSI) numbers for subscribers, former customers, and even prospective customers are among the information compromised in the breach. According to reports, the wireless carrier is facing three lawsuits as a result of the security breach.

An interview with The Wall Street Journal revealed details of the hack that affected over 54 million people. Brinns said T-Mobile had unprotected routers and internet address flaws that let him access over 100 servers. But he didn’t tell the Journal if he sold the data or was paid to do it, which could be a bigger issue for those affected.

Here are some steps you can take to protect your sensitive data from hacking, regardless of whether your data has been compromised.

Lock Your Credit 

One of the first steps should be to freeze your credit. This will prevent anyone with your information from opening a credit line or borrowing money in your name. To freeze your credit, simply fill out a form with Equifax, Experian, and Transunion (one form each).

The disadvantage of freezing your credit is that certain purchases, like upgrading your iPhone, require you to temporarily lift your credit freeze and then reapply it.

It is actually inconvenient,  in comparison to the time you’d spend trying to reverse the damage caused; by someone opening a credit card or line of credit in your name, freezing, unfreezing, and refreezing your credit is worth it.

Make Use of a Credit Monitoring Service

Keeping an eye on your credit report is a simple way to ensure no one is abusing your data. The free credit monitoring some companies offer to data breach victims is often only temporary. For example, T-Mobile is giving those affected by the latest breach two years of free McAfee ID Theft Protection. If your data is compromised, take advantage of offers like this, but be prepared to switch services once the offer expires.

Using one of the many credit monitoring services available can help you catch fraudulent accounts early on.

Sign up for ID theft monitoring

Monitoring your credit report is important, but your personal data can be used for so much more. An identity-monitoring service will also keep an eye on your credit report and Social Security number for any suspicious activity. It should give you peace of mind if your personal information is misused.

Get a Password Manager

Using a different password for each online account is a simple way to prevent a security breach from affecting other accounts where you used the same password.

Rather than using the same password, use a password manager to create, store, and autofill your login information. T-Mobile also educates customers on how to reset PINs and passwords to help protect their data and logins.

Protect your personal data now

The most important aspect of responding to a hack or breach is not waiting for the affected companies to tell you how to respond. Proactive. In the end, it’s all about you and your money.

Consider the affected companies’ suggestions after you’ve secured your credit and started monitoring.

As in the 2017 Equifax case, some breaches force companies to offer free services or settlements.

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