On March 26th this year, AT&T, the biggest mobile network carrier in the US, admitted that the data of both present and former customers was included in a leak that was published on the dark web some days prior. The dataset had the information of 73 million customers who are either former customers or current customers.

Considering the scope of the personal data that was leaked to the world, it became clear that AT&T would have to provide some form of compensation for these customers, and now we know that just above 51 million customers will be eligible for identification protection services, for a whole year, completely free.

51.2 Million AT&T Customers Will Be Offered A Year Of Complimentary Identity Protection

Image: AT&T

A data breach is a significant thing. When it involves your financial data, like credit card info, it can be rather frightening, but if you strike fast enough, you can freeze cards and avoid being a victim. However, with a breach like this AT&T one, personal info like your name, address, date of birth, social security number, and other personal identifying info was leaked. This makes it possible for criminals to steal your identity for nefarious purposes.

AT&T is sending out emails to approximately 51 million customers (since some of the 73 million had multiple accounts and some had no sensitive info leaked), both past and present, to briefly explain the situation and offer “one year of complimentary credit monitoring, identity theft detection and resolution services” from a third party. To be honest, this is probably the best the company can do on such a large scale.

However, the major issue I see is that the risk of having your identity stolen stays the same after the one-year expires, especially if you don’t change your address or phone number, which most people won’t. All it will take is for criminals to be patient and strike after the complimentary term has expired. Again, this is why I think that as bad as it might seem to have financial info leaked, at least it’s usually just card details that can be “refreshed”.

This Complimentary Service Has To Be Enrolled For, Or You Won’t Get It

One thing that AT&T noted explicitly in their email to customers is that while they are offering these free identity protection services from Experian IdentityWorks, they won’t be automatically activated and you will need to enroll to actually take advantage of this compensation. The email itself has the instructions needed to enroll for the service.

What Is The Background Behind This Massive Data Breach?

If you ask AT&T, they don’t know. As far as their investigations went, they found no evidence that anyone had directly breached their systems at any point, especially in 2021 when a hacker first reported that he had gotten the details of 73 million AT&T users.

AT&T Data Breach Victims Will Get A Year Of Free Protection 4
Image: AT&T

However, just last month, exactly 73 million users had their info dumped in a huge dataset on the dark web, which matches up with the number from three years ago. Yet, AT&T still can’t say exactly where the data was leaked from, claiming that it might have come from one of their vendors.

Not being able to figure out where the data is from is even scarier, because what stops this from happening again? Well, hopefully, it doesn’t, but in the meantime, if you’re an AT&T user, make sure to check your inbox before you decide you’re rushing over to Verizon.

Through Tecno, Gionee, Vivo, Google, and now Samsung, Ayomide has always been an Android enthusiast. His current partner in crime is a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. You can find him playing Candy Crush or Call of Duty: Mobile, watching movies, and he is a big fan of trivia and quizzes.

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The post AT&T Data Breach Victims Will Get A Year Of Free Protection – Talk Android first appeared on

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