7 Steps to Take if your Network Suffers a Breach
According to the Washington Post, T-Mobile suffered another data breach, its fifth breach in the past three years. Additionally, Business Insider reported that a class action lawsuit has been filed against the telecommunications giant. Unfortunately, data breaches are becoming more and more common, but there are steps you can take as an individual to protect your identity from online crime and fraud. It’s essential to take these steps in response to the T-Mobile breach if you’re a T-Mobile customer, but it’s also important to integrate these steps into your daily life. Protecting your identity and personal information is critical to combat Digital Age Risks.
WhiteHawk recommends taking the following steps:
- Get Informed
T-Mobile created a dedicated informational site. Notably, they are providing two free years of an identity theft protection service, in addition to a few other services.
- Change your Account Password and Pin
Consider using a password manager to help organize and securely store your passwords for all of your accounts. Some tools will also create a secure password for you, enabling you to use unique and complicated passwords for all your accounts easily.
- Enable Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
The data involved in this breach include International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers making affected customers vulnerable to SIM-swap attacks where a criminal can take over your phone. MFA apps like Google Authenticator or Authy can be used to bypass this method of attack by having the authentication codes available when you open the app rather than being texted to you. (ADD AUTHY OR GOOGLE AUTHENTICATOR LINKS HERE, POSSIBLE GUIDES?)
- Verify URL's and Email Attachments
We recommend verifying any URL or Email Attachment that may reference Equifax's breach before visiting them. Websites such as VirusTotal and Zscaler will run a scan on a URL or file to determine if the site or attachment is safe.
- Monitor your Email and Verify Contacts
Be sure that you know who you are emailing. Always verify who you are responding to and be wary of unknown contacts. Banks will never contact you via email to discuss your financial situation. If you receive any correspondence from your financial institution, call them and discuss it over the phone. Also, never send Personally Identifiable Information (PII) via email.
- Check your Credit Report
The best way to make sure your credit is safe is to monitor your credit reports. Websites such as Annual Credit Report and Credit Karma offer credit reports and monitoring to help you stay on top of your credit situation.
- Freeze your Credit Accounts
If you believe your personal information has been stolen and you want to know your rights related to cybercrime, WhiteHawk recommends that you contact your state's Attorney General. You can find your state's Attorney General here.