NCSA statement following report of data breach at Experian, Exposing T-Mobile Customer Data
According to news reports, this is not the first time Experian has faced a data breach of this nature. It’s not surprising that data brokers or credit bureaus ‒ who collect millions of people’s most private details – are prime targets for cybercriminals, but it is disconcerting. More than 80 percent of data breach victims firmly place the responsibility of protecting their information on data brokers, according to a new victim impact survey by the Identity Theft Resource Center. Following a string of recent attacks on Experian and others, it is clear that data brokers need to do more to meet consumers’ expectations.
“When consumers entrust companies with their personal information, they expect their data to be stored as safely and securely as possible and their privacy protected,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. “Learning that this trust has been broken – through no fault of their own – can be highly distressing. As much as we have come to rely on technology, we must do so with the understanding that it is not risk-free. We urge anyone impacted by this incident to take actionable steps to better protect their digital data, such as by turning on two-factor authentication on email and financial accounts, not clicking on suspicious links, and using public WiFi wisely.”
This breach occurs at the start of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, co-led by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, and serves as a reminder of the need for everyone to take steps to be safer and more secure online. It is a good time to remind consumers impacted by this breach – and everyone else – to take the following proactive steps to better secure their digital lives:
Data breaches have become more commonplace, and everyone should take these simple, actionable steps to protect themselves online. It is also important to respond quickly in the wake of hearing or suspecting that personal information has been lost or stolen.
Other helpful resources include:
www.stopthinkconnect.org (general online safety and security information)
www.identitytheft.gov (the Federal Trade Commission’s website to guide consumers after your information is lost
www.idtheftcenter.org (for help with identity theft)
If you believe you have been the victim of a cybercrime you can report it to: The Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.Ic3.gov.