Last Thursday, credit reporting company Experian reported that nearly 15 million people who had applied for financing from wireless carrier T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) had become victims of a data breach that exposed Social Security numbers and other personal data.
On Friday, retail brokerage firm Scottrade disclosed that nearly 5 million customer records, including contact information and possibly Social Security numbers, had been breached.
October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and awareness is off to a fast start.
We noted on Friday that consumers who believe they may have been affected by the Experian breach can sign up for two years of free credit monitoring. Security expert Brian Krebs is not impressed:
Take them up on this offer if you want , but I would strongly encourage anyone affected by this breach to instead place a security freeze on their credit files at Experian and at the other big three credit bureaus, including Equifax, Trans Union and Innovis. … The most you can hope for from a credit monitoring service is that they give you a heads up when ID theft does happen, and then help you through the often labyrinthine process of getting the credit bureaus and/or creditors to remove the fraudulent activity and to fix your credit score.
Scottrade said it does not believe that Social Security numbers were stolen, but it is offering one year of free credit monitoring to customers whose records were breached. The attack on Scottrade is believed to have happened between late 2013 and early 2014. In a press release the brokerage said, “Importantly, we have no reason to believe that Scottrade’s trading platforms or any client funds were compromised.”