AT&T recently announced a data breach that could affect as many as 16,000 customers. This is the second security invasion the company has experienced this year, the first being reported in June.
The corporation is offering a year of free identity monitoring for those consumers believed to be directly affected, but all AT&T customers are urged to be vigilant in checking their credit card statements and bank account activity in case of attempted fraud.
“We recently determined that one of our employees violated our strict privacy and security guidelines by accessing your account without authorization in August 2014,” said AT&T’s director of finance billing operations in a statement to customers, “and while doing so, would have been able to view and may have obtained your account information including social security number and driver’s license number.”
The AT&T announcement comes on the heels of the JPMorgan Chase data breach. Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, P.F. Chang’s, Jimmy John’s and Supervalu have been similarly compromised, leading security experts to diagnose the American public with a severe case of “breach fatigue.”
This year alone there there have been an astonishing 579 breaches, representing a 27.5 percent year-over-year increase. This recent rash of cyber-crime is causing consumers to become increasingly skeptical of business security standards, doubting whether or not their personal information is safe with anyone.
These breaches also come with huge losses. For example, Target reports having lost $146 million as a direct result of the intrusion last year.
If you aren’t confident in the security measures of your business’s point of sale and inventory system, it might be time to make a change. New security breaches are occurring all the time, so there’s never been a more reasonable moment to take some extra precautions in order to protect your company and your customers.