T-Mobile hack exposed tens of thousands and thousands. How to protect your personal data after any breach

Be proactive, regardless of whether or not you are a sufferer of this explicit hack. 

James Martin/CNET

T-Mobile continues to investigate a data breach from earlier this week, by which the personal info of tens of thousands and thousands folks might have been compromised, and never only for lively subscribers. The determine features a spectrum of data, together with names, drivers license numbers, Social Security numbers and gadget identification (IMEI and IMSI) numbers for subscribers, former prospects and potential prospects who might have been enthusiastic about T-Mobile service at one level. The breach consists of prospects of Metro by T-Mobile, too; in brief, nearly anybody who’s thought-about T-Mobile could possibly be affected.

There’s “no indication” that monetary data like bank card or different cost info was compromised, T-Mobile said Friday in a press launch. The firm has reset PIN numbers for all pay as you go prospects after the publicity of 850,000 PINS for this group. Right now, there is not any approach to inform in case you ought to take extra motion. T-Mobile remains to be finishing its investigation and can notify folks whose data was accessed. In the meantime, you’ll be able to learn our information to check if your password is on the dark web.

While the state of affairs develops — T-Mobile may reportedly face a class action — there are issues you are able to do to assist safe your delicate data in opposition to any hack — regardless of whether or not your info has been included in any number of data breaches.

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First: Freeze your credit with all 3 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 a purchase, 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. 


Lock down everything you can, as soon as you can. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Next, use monitoring services to keep a close eye on your credit

Staying on top of what’s on your credit report is an easy way to make sure someone isn’t using your information nefariously. Some companies offer free credit monitoring to victims of a data breach, but oftentimes that’s only temporary. For example, T-Mobile is offering two years of McAfee’s ID Theft Protection Service for free to those affected by the latest breach. Take advantage of offers like this if your data is included in a breach, but once the limited-time offer expires, be ready to sign up for another service.

There are several credit monitoring services that help you watch your credit report and using one could mean you will receive an alert and hopefully catch false accounts as soon as they happen. 

Sign up for identity theft monitoring

Monitoring your credit report is an important step to take; however, there’s so much more that can be done with your personal information. In addition to keeping an eye on your Social Security number and credit, an identity-monitoring service will monitor the dark web for anyone selling or trading your personal information or arrests under your name. It should give you peace of mind if someone tries to do anything with your personal information. 


1Password is one of many password managers that keep your information secure. 


Use a password manager to create and store logins

Using a unique and strong password for every online account you own is an easy way to make sure a breach of one service doesn’t lead to bad guys accessing more of your online accounts where you used the same password.

Instead of reusing a password — or a series of passwords — rely on a password manager to create, store and autofill your login information. 

Don’t wait to protect your personal data 

The most important aspect of taking action after a hack or breach is announced is to not wait for the affected companies to announce how they want you to handle it. Be proactive. At the end of the day, it’s your information and your financial future that’s at stake.

After locking down your credit and starting monitoring services, begin to look at suggestions from the affected companies.

Some breaches lead to settlements, forcing the company to offer free services or, as in the 2017 Equifax case, settlements.

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