Recently, MetLife, Inc. (“MetLife”) suffered a cyberattack that compromised the names and social security numbers of some consumers. the data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, PC will begin interviewing victims of the breach to determine the damages they suffered and the legal claims that may be available to them. If you recently learned that your information was compromised in the recent breach, contacting a data breach attorney is the first step to understanding all of your options.
What we know so far about the MetLife data breach
MetLife, Inc. is one of the largest insurers in the world, with 90 million customers in more than 60 countries. MetLife, Inc., is the name of the holding company of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC), more commonly known as “MetLife”. The company offers a wide range of insurance products, including health insurance, dental insurance, automobile insurance, disability insurance, as well as annuities. In 2020, MetLife generated more than $67 billion in revenue and employed approximately 49,000 people.
Given the recentness of the MetLife data breach, little is known about its causes or the number of parties involved. However, according to an attorney general’s office, the compromised information includes consumers’ names and social security numbers. On February 9, 2022, MetLife began sending data breach notification letters to those whose information was compromised in the breach.
Learn more about the causes and risks of data breaches
Often, data breaches result from a hacker gaining unauthorized access to a company’s computer systems in an effort to obtain sensitive consumer information. Although no one can know why a hacker targeted MetLife, it is common for hackers and other criminals to identify companies believed to have weak data security systems or vulnerabilities in their networks.
Once a cybercriminal gains access to a computer network, they can then access and delete all data stored on compromised servers. While in most cases a business victim of a data breach can identify the accessed files, they may have no way of knowing which files the hacker actually accessed or deleted. Datas.
Although the fact that your information has been compromised in a data breach does not necessarily mean that it will be used for criminal purposes, being the victim of a data breach puts your sensitive data in the hands of someone unauthorized. Therefore, you are at increased risk of identity theft and other fraud, and criminal use of your information is a possibility that should not be ignored.
Given this reality, individuals who receive a MetLife data breach notification should take the situation seriously and remain vigilant by checking for any signs of unauthorized activity. Companies like MetLife are responsible for protecting consumer data in their possession. If it appears that MetLife has failed to adequately protect your sensitive information, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a data breach lawsuit.
What consumer remedies are there following the MetLife data breach?
When customers decided to do business with MetLife, they assumed the company would take their privacy concerns seriously. And it goes without saying that consumers would think twice about giving a company access to their information if they knew it wouldn’t be secure. Thus, data breaches such as this raise questions about the adequacy of a company’s data security system.
When a business, government entity, nonprofit, school, or other organization accepts and stores consumer data, it also accepts a legal obligation to ensure that this information is kept private. US data breach laws allow consumers to pursue civil data breach claims against organizations that fail to protect their information.
Of course, given the recentness of the MetLife data breach, the investigation into the incident is still in its early stages. And, at this time, there is no evidence yet to suggest that MetLife is legally liable for the breach. However, that may change as more information about the breach and its causes comes to light.
If you have questions about your ability to bring a data breach class action lawsuit against MetLife, contact a data breach attorney as soon as possible.
What should you do if you receive a MetLife data breach notification?
If MetLife sends you a data breach notification letter, you are among those whose information was compromised in the recent breach. Although this is not the time to panic, the situation deserves your attention. Below are some important steps you can take to protect yourself against identity theft and other fraudulent activity:
Identify compromised information: The first thing to do after becoming aware of a data breach is to carefully review the data breach letter sent. The letter will tell you what information about you was accessible to the unauthorized party. Be sure to make a copy of the letter and keep it for your records. If you’re having trouble understanding the letter or what steps you can take to protect yourself, a data breach attorney can help.
Limit future access to your accounts: Once you’ve determined what information about you was affected by the breach, the safest game is to assume that the hacker who orchestrated the attack stole your data. Although this is not the case, prevention is better than cure. To prevent future access to your accounts, you must change all passwords and security questions for any online account. This includes online banking accounts, credit card accounts, online shopping accounts, and any other accounts that contain your personal information. You should also consider changing your social media account passwords and setting up multi-factor authentication where available.
Protect your credit and financial accounts: After a data breach, companies often provide affected parties with free credit monitoring services. Signing up for free credit monitoring offers important protections and does not affect any of your rights to bring a data breach lawsuit against the company if it is found to be legally responsible for the violation. You should contact a credit bureau to request a copy of your credit file, even if you notice no signs of fraud or unauthorized activity. Adding a fraud alert to your account will provide you with additional protection.
Consider implementing a credit freeze: A credit freeze prevents anyone from accessing your credit report. Credit freezes are free and remain in effect until you remove them. Once a credit freeze is in place, you can temporarily lift it if you need to apply for any type of credit. While freezing credit on your accounts may seem like overkill, given the risks involved, it’s warranted. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (“ITRC”), freezing credit on your account is “the most effective way to prevent a new credit/financial account from being opened.” However, only 3% of data breach victims freeze their accounts.
- Monitor your credit report and financial accounts regularly: Protecting yourself following a data breach requires continuous effort on your part. You should regularly check your credit report and all financial account statements for any signs of unauthorized activity or fraud. You should also call your banks and credit card companies to report that your information has been compromised in a data breach.