T-Mobile Hacked — 2 Million Customers’ Personal Data Stolen
Your T-Mobile Account Information Could Have Been Stolen
T-Mobile reported that a data breach on August 20 involved the account information of 2 million customers, and your data may have been a part of it. Fortunately, there are ways that you can take action and protect yourself in case identity thieves or other con artists have accessed your confidential information. It is important that you find out if your information was accessed and to take steps to safeguard your identity and financial accounts.
Details of the T-Mobile Data Breach
On August 20, T-Mobile's cyber security team detected hackers gaining access to an application programming interface (API). The hackers were operating from outside of the USA. The API that was breached did not contain financial data, but it did have information about the customers' names, billing zip codes, mailing addresses, email addresses, account numbers and account types.
What Hackers Could Do With the Data
Even though no financial information was leaked from T-Mobile's database, it is still possible for hackers to scam you with the data they did manage to collect. Hackers may inventory and sell your data along with the stolen information of other people in bulk on the dark web. The more recent the data breach, the more valuable your information. This is because you may not have changed your password, which allows hackers to do more damage with your information. They may use your email address to set up phishing schemes or other cons.
T-Mobile Response to the Breach
T-Mobile reports that its IT security staff shut down the breach as quickly as possible. The company notified affected customers by SMS, a phone call or a letter in the snail mail. T-Mobile also informed law enforcement of the breach. If you were affected or have concerns, T-Mobile has opened a customer service hotline dedicated to answering questions and addressing concerns regarding the data breach.
What You Can Do If Your Data Was Breached
The more quickly you respond to a notification that your data was breached by hackers, the less likely you are to have negative consequences. Since no financial information was accessed by the hackers, you do not have to cancel the payment method you use for your T-Mobile account. Take precautions such as changing your password to a strong passphrase. Avoid opening any email from unusual or unknown senders with attachments. The attachments could contain malware, ransomware or a virus. If you receive a call claiming to be from T-Mobile, call them back to verify who is actually calling you.
Data breaches are increasingly common, and you need to be prepared in case your information is stolen. Be vigilant about your accounts to look for unauthorized charges. Take care to implement strong passphrases, and change them every 30 to 90 days. Be aware of unsolicited calls, emails and snail mail. You don't have to let hackers get the upper hand.