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Security & privacy

Data breach warning: Wireless network usernames and passwords hacked

Verizon customers are having a bad week. Many have been receiving texts claiming to be from the company, thanking them for paying their bills. The message includes a link supposedly offering a little gift. Of course, it’s actually a scam looking to rip them off. Tap or click here for complete details.

Sadly, things don’t seem to be getting better. A popular digital carrier that runs on Verizon’s network was just hit with a massive data breach.

Not only were customer credentials stolen by cybercriminals, but they were used to purchase expensive equipment. Keep reading to find out what your next move is in protecting your account.

Here’s the backstory

Verizon-owned digital carrier Visible has been popular since it launched, as it provides low-cost mobile plans and phones. It’s a good solution if you don’t want to sign up for monthly plans or need to upgrade to the latest and greatest phones.

But Visible customers learned this week that low-cost plans could come with a steep cost, your personal information. Hackers were able to steal account credentials and make changes to victims’ accounts. The crooks also purchased expensive new smartphones with account information they stole.

After some investigating, the company admitted in a statement that some customers had their data infiltrated and changed. Criminals breached the system to access customer data, changed the delivery address and ordered phones in their name.

Visible said that it “initiated a review” and added more steps to protect customers’ data as soon as it became aware of the issue.

“Our investigation indicates that threat actors were able to access username/passwords from outside sources, and exploit that information to log in to Visible accounts,” Visible told PCMag.

What you can do about it

If you are a customer of Visible, you must change your password and username immediately. Although the company said additional protocols have been put in place, you don’t want that information to be available to hackers.

Here are some more ways to protect your online accounts:

  • Set up two-factor authentication for all accounts that offer it.
  • Never use the same username and password for different services or websites. If one account is breached, those credentials could be used to infiltrate your other accounts.
  • Visible will never call and ask for your password. If you receive a call like that, it is probably a scam, and you should hang up immediately.
  • Never give out your PIN or answers to security questions to callers you don’t trust. No matter who the caller says they represent.
  • If you have business with a company, contact them through known phone numbers or websites. If you suspect your account has been compromised, contact the service or website for more details.

Keep reading

Clever new text scam going after Verizon customers

60M records exposed: Fitbit, Apple, Google health info leaked in massive data breach

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