Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen issued an alert this week to people who were affected by a T-Mobile data breach in the fall of 2021. Some of the stolen information has shown up on what is called the "dark web."

Knudsen said 2,752 Montana T-Mobile customers were impacted by the breach, along with over 34,000 former or prospective customers. Some of the compromised data was on sale by cyber criminals online recently, increasing the chance for a higher risk of identity theft.

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And, of course, that wasn't the only data breach in 2021. In fact, "Identity Theft Resource Center" reported over 1,800 data breaches last year alone, a huge increase from 2020.

Protecting Yourself After a Data Breach

Knudsen said those affected by the T-Mobile breach should monitor their credit and should consider placing a free credit freeze on your credit report with Equifax at 1-888-766-0008, Experian at 1-397-3742 and TransUnion at 1-800-680-7289. You can also place a "fraud alert" on any of those credit bureaus. If you have more questions, call the Montana Office of Consumer Protection at 406-444-4500.

In a related report about cybersecurity, the website digitalthirdcoast.net announced a shocking survey that showed 95 percent of those responding shared their streaming passwords with friends and family, and over 50 percent use the same password for everything.

And what about those passwords? Is your password good enough? The folks at Lookout.com had a list of the top 10 passwords that ended up on the "dark web." They were the usual suspects, actually. Number one was "123456," followed by "123456789." "Qwerty" was number three and at number four was "Password." That's like leaving your front door unlocked.

Be careful out there.

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