AT&T Data Breach Affects 73 Million Customers – Forbes Advisor

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Tens of millions of current and former AT&T customers have had their personal information leaked onto the dark web, the telecom company has announced.

About 7.6 million existing AT&T account holders and more than 65 million former customers are affected by the data breach, which was discovered last month, AT&T disclosed on Saturday.

AT&T has reset the passcodes of the affected accounts, it said in a statement. A passcode is a four-digit PIN used as a security measure. It is separate from a password.

What Information Was Leaked In the AT&T Data Breach?

The exposed data, believed to be from 2019 or earlier, contained sensitive information such as names, addresses, birth dates and Social Security numbers—but not personal financial information or call history, according to AT&T.

The discovery of the information on the dark web two weeks ago prompted AT&T to launch an investigation into the incident. However, it’s still unclear whether the data originated from the company directly or one of its vendors.

AT&T said it is working to address the situation and secure breached accounts. It also promised to contact affected customers and provide free credit monitoring if needed.

“We encourage customers to remain vigilant by monitoring account activity and credit reports,” AT&T added.

“If a company involved in a data breach offers free credit monitoring, take advantage of it,” the Federal Trade Commission advises consumers on its website.

Fraud alerts are available for free from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, the nationwide credit bureaus. You can also check your free credit report anytime at AnnualCreditReport.com.

How Can AT&T Customers Protect Themselves?

If you believe your personal information might have been exposed through a data breach or some other incident, such as losing your wallet, experts say it’s important to act fast.

Here are eight steps you can take to safeguard yourself against identity theft.

  • Change your password. Log in to your account and immediately change your password. Use a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols to create a strong, unique password.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). If you haven’t already, activate two-factor authentication for added security. When you log in, this triggers a second verification step, such as sending a code to your phone.
  • Check for suspicious activity. Review your recent account activity for any unusual behavior, such as access by unfamiliar devices or from unidentifiable locations.
  • Contact the company. Report the suspected compromise to customer support immediately for help in securing your account.
  • Monitor your accounts. Watch your financial and online accounts closely for any signs of unauthorized activity. Think about using a credit monitoring service for extra protection.
  • Consider identity theft protection. If you’re worried about identity theft, you may want to  sign up for an identity theft protection service to monitor your personal information and alert you to suspicious activity.
  • Stay informed. If you’re affected by a data breach, watch for any news from the company. It may provide additional information or advice for customers whose information was compromised.
  • Educate yourself. Take this opportunity to learn more about cybersecurity best practices and how to keep your personal information more secure online.

Find the Best Identity Theft Protection Services of 2024


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