The Experian Credit Bureau Hacking

The majority of Americans have a credit file with each of the the three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. These credit bureaus compile personal information such as name(s), Social Security number, addresses, phone numbers, credit card accounts, mortgages, auto and student loans and other info.  The Experian credit bureau was the victim of a hacking again in 2015.

We all assume our information is safe and there are great security measures taken to protect it, but are we all open to Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud?

Recently, there was a hack of T-Mobile USA customer data at credit bureau, Experian. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time there was a hacking, nor is it something that doesn’t commonly occur. The recent hacking saw the theft of personal information from Experian belonging to about 15 million T-Mobile wireless customers and potential customers in the U.S. The hack included the compromise of Social Security numbers, home addresses, birth dates, and a number of other personal information.
Experian made an attempt to handle the situation by notifying authorities and posting an explanatory page on its site for those that have been affected. Experian also offered two free years of credit monitoring services with www.ProtectMyID.com, an organization that they themselves also own.

This was met with harsh criticism throughout social media once it was discovered Experian was offering its own monitoring services to those that were affected by their mistakes.T-Mobile CEO John Legere was vocal on social media, expressing his attempt to find a more solid solution to this crisis.

However, Experian has gone on to say that this incident was “isolated” and that they can still be trusted with credit monitoring.

“This was an isolated incident of one server and one client’s data. The consumer credit bureau was not accessed in this incident and no other clients’ data was involved.”

This statement is contradictory to the breach history Experian has had in the past. There has, in fact, been a pattern of breaches at Experian, as well as several competitors such as TransUnion and Equifax, have had multiple hacking occurrences in the past several years.

Both in 2012 and 2013, Experian reported breaches in their servers to authorities that were shown to have occurred multiple times. In the 2013 incident, Experian also attempted to clean their mess by offering their credit monitoring services to the New Hampshire residents affected, much like their most recent incident.

As shown throughout social media, several of those affected have been vocal of their displeasure with Experian and are hopeful there will be a more plausible solution in the coming weeks.

It is very important for all individuals with a credit bureau file to monitor their credit profiles or at least view them a few times a year to make sure they are updated correctly in addition to seeing if any third parties are viewing their credit without permission. If inquiries (third party views) are seen that do not look familiar this could be a sign of Identity Theft.
If you are interested in learning more about the credit monitoring program we at North Shore Advisory offer, please feel free to reach out. If you have any credit reports or credit questions you would like feedback on please contact us at info@northshoreadvisory.com.