How to Protect Yourself After the T-Mobile Data Breach

T-Mobile recently reported that millions of their customer accounts and prospective customers' accounts had been compromised by a cyberattack. (You can read T-Mobile's account of the cyberattack and what personal information was compromised here.)

T-Mobile is making these security recommendations to their customers:

  • Offering two years of free identity protection services with McAfee’s ID Theft Protection Service to any person who believes they may be affected.
  • Recommending that all eligible T-Mobile customers sign up for free scam-blocking protection.
  • Supporting customers with additional best practices and practical security steps like resetting PINs and passwords.

T-Mobile has published a customer support webpage that will include additional information as it becomes available.

 

Other Precautions You Can Take

Whether or not you were affected by T-Mobile's data breach, there are precautions you can take now to monitor and protect your identity:

  1. Check your credit report. Hancom Federal Credit Union offers members a free credit score and report review, which we strongly recommend that they take advantage of. Members can get more information about and schedule this review by visiting hfcu.org/score.*
  2. Monitor your credit card statements. Look for any unauthorized charges, regardless of how small they are. It is easy to overlook a small charge from a retailer that you frequent, but it is important to cross-check each transaction.
  3. Stay on top of your bank accounts. Set a time each day to review your accounts. The transactions of the past day will still be fresh in your mind. Make it easy by signing up for Online Access and adding the Hanscom FCU app to your smartphone.
  4. Set up Hanscom Federal Credit Union account alerts. When using Online Access, you will see Alerts and Security options. Take time to set up alerts to notify you if your account hits a specified balance, there is a transaction on your account, your security alert preferences are changed, a new user is created, the forgot password process is completed, or a new computer browser is identified. Learn more here.
  5. Add a fraud alert to your credit file. This type of alert warns credit issuers that your personal data might have been stolen so that all efforts will be used to verify your identity before opening credit in your name. An Initial Alert lasts 90 to 180 days. An Extended Alert can last seven years. Get details about setting up credit report fraud alerts here. Keep in mind that this will only draw caution if someone tries to open a new account in your name. It will not protect you from unauthorized use of existing accounts.
  6. File your tax return early. Scammers may try to use your Social Security number to claim a tax refund. Beat them to it by filing your 2021 return as soon as you can.
  7. Keep informed. Follow the MoneyWisdom blog, the Hanscom FCU media pageTwitter, Instagram, and Facebook for financial tips, security advice, and news you need to protect your money and your identity.

 

Get a free Credit Score Review

 

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*Note that Hanscom FCU's Credit Score and Report Review requires a hard pull on your credit, which will temporarily reduce your credit score.

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About Author

Diana Burrell
Diana Burrell

Diana Burrell is the communications manager at Hanscom FCU and edits the MoneyWisdom blog. She has a background in magazine journalism, as well as marketing, advertising, and public relations, and has written over a dozen books. You can reach her at dburrell@hfcu.org.

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