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Security & privacy

Watch out, 2 million phone users had their data exposed

Rare is the day where we don’t learn of a security breach or hack. The only questions, really, are who they affected and what kind of data was compromised.

Sometimes it’s more of a scare than a real concern, but with as much information as companies have on us it’s certainly never a good thing when our data is exposed in any way.

The latest issue involves 2 million accounts at T-Mobile, as well as Metro PCS. It involves something that was discovered on Aug. 20, with customers being informed of it on Thursday.

They are not quite sure exactly what was taken

According to the letter T-Mobile sent to its customers, a cybersecurity team discovered and quickly shut down unauthorized access to certain information on the 20th. T-Mobile wrote that it promptly reported what happened to authorities.

The letter went on to explain that no financial data, such as credit card information, or Social Security numbers were involved, and no passwords were compromised, either. However, the company said some personal information, which could include name, billing ZIP code, phone number, email address, account number and account type may have been exposed.

“We take the security of your information very seriously and have a number of safeguards in place to protect your personal information from unauthorized access,” the letter said. “We truly regret that this incident occurred and are so sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you.”

Around 3% of T-Mobile’s customer base, or roughly 2 million accounts, may have been affected. T-Mobile said those customers have been or will be notified, as they want everyone to be aware of the situation.

If you do not receive any notification at all, that means your account was not included among those that were impacted.

I got notified, so what should I do?

Obviously this is not a good thing. While it is possible nothing was ultimately taken, T-Mobile does not have a full grasp on what kind of damage was inflicted by the breach.

With that in mind, the company asks that if you have any questions to call them. T-Mobile customers can dial 611, use two-way messaging on, the T-Mobile App or iMessage through Apple Business Chat.

They say you can also request a call back or schedule a time for their team of experts to call you through the T-Mobile App and

Maybe not in this case, but here are things to think about in case of data breaches

  • Keep an eye on your bank accounts – You should be frequently checking your bank statements, looking for suspicious activity. If you see anything that seems strange, report it immediately.
  • Check HaveIBeenPwned – this site will tell you if your information has been stolen in a previous breach.
  • Change your password – Whenever you hear news of a data breach, it’s a good idea to change your account passwords. Read this article to help you create hack-proof passwords.
  • Close unused accounts – Here’s an easy way to manage all of your online accounts at once.
  • Beware of phishing scams – Scammers will try and piggyback on huge breaches like this. They will create phishing emails, pretending to be the affected company, hoping to get victims to click on malicious links that could lead to more problems. Take our phishing IQ test to see if you can spot a fake email.
  • Manage passwords – Many people use the same username and password on multiple sites. This is a terrible practice and you should never do it. If you’re using the same credentials on multiple sites, change them to make them unique. If you have too many accounts to remember, you could always use a password manager.
  • Check email security settings – Make sure the email account associated with the hacked site has updated security settings.
  • Have strong security software – Protecting your gadgets with strong security software is important. It’s the best defense against digital threats.

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