Once again headlines around the world drop bombshells on unsuspecting consumers—Experian North America, whose parent company, Experian, is the largest consumer credit monitoring firm in the world, has experienced a massive data breach that exposed sensitive information for approximately 15 million people.
The company has confirmed that the breach involved a server that contained data on behalf of wireless service giant, T-Mobile Inc. The breach affects information of customers and applicants who at some point have applied for service at T-Mobile through credit checks from September 1, 2013 to September 16, 2015.
Although, Experian has assured customers that the incident did not impact any of its consumer credit database, the effects of a breach of this magnitude will likely continue to be felt for months if not years.
The breach occurred about two weeks ago and according to Experian spokeswoman, Susan Henson, "was discovered within two days, secured immediately, comprehensive forensic investigation launched (and still continuing) and we announced it today to quickly notify consumers."
T-Mobile has also responded to the incident with a frank letter to customers from CEO, John Legere, in which he expressed his shock and anger about the data breach and assured customers that T-Mobile take's their customer and prospective customer's "privacy VERY seriously." The letter also stated, "that neither T-Mobile's systems nor network were part of this intrusion and this did not involve any payment card numbers or bank account information."
He added that those concerned they may be impacted can sign up for free credit monitoring and identity resolution services through Experian, but many have expressed that they do not want credit protection from the very company the breach came from.
Legere took to Twitter and promised to find alternatives, "I hear you. I am moving as fast as possible to get an alternate option in place by tomorrow."
This comes after a string of data breaches targeting large companies like Target, JPMorgan Chase, and even a government agency, the Office of Personnel Management. Unfortunately it seems that breaches like will continue to increase, forcing us to be more vigilant than ever about who we trust with our personal information, how we secure and save documents, and what measures we take to protect ourselves against identity theft and fraud.
As this story unfolds, we will remain alert for any updates and keep you updated. And remember that you can help protect yourself against ID theft by monitoring your credit files. A credit monitoring service is a great way to do that. Stay vigilant my friends!