My data may have been breached. That was the gist of a letter I received from my mortgage company. My mortgage is held by Mr. Cooper, one of the largest mortgage companies in the U.S and holds mortgages in Montana. Mr. Cooper had their data breached last October, and my data may have been compromised. I have no control over who holds my mortgage, it has been bought and sold a few times since we have been in our home. It is scary when I get a letter like that. There has been another data breach that can affect a lot of Montanans. It is being described as "The Mother of all data breaches".

Data Breach Could Be Affect Many Montanans

According to a report by Cybernews, 26 billion records have been leaked that includes "Records from thousands of meticulously compiled and reindexed leaks, breaches, and privately sold databases." This breach affects a large number of companies that Montanans use, like LinkedIn, Adobe, Twitter, Canva, and more. The report says it "contains mostly information from past data breaches, it most certainly holds new data that wasn't published before." Some of the data may be from old sources, for example from MySpace, which some people haven't used in years.

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You May Not Know Your Data Was Breached

What is alarming about this, is that a person may not be notified of their data being breached from some of these companies. I was lucky that I was notified about the Mr. Cooper data breach, but that isn't always the case. There are a couple things you can do to try to protect yourself right now.

  • Sign up for a subscription with a cyber security company. It costs money, but it may save you money and headaches in the long run.
  • Get in touch with one of the three major credit reporting companies. Experian, Equifax, or Trans Union and find out if you should put a "security freeze" on your credit report.

To learn more about how to place or lift a "security freeze" on your accounts you can check out USA.gov and you can get more information on how to protect yourselves. If you put a "security freeze" on with one of the credit reporting companies, it is reported to all of them. There is no need to contact each of them. Try to be safe out there and try to keep your information as safe as you can.

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Gallery Credit: Liz Barrett Foster

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