It looks like 49 million or so unlucky people have data exposed in the recent Dell data breach. 49 million. That’s 1 in 8 people in the United States. After all, Dell has been successful in selling computers over the years to a lot of different people. And in doing that, they collected a lot of data. And now a lot of data is likely in the hands of the bad guys.

What Dell Says About Their Data Breach

Dell has sent out an e-mail saying, basically, “nothing to see here”. The only information that’s was released were names, physical addresses, and Dell order info. The order info is stuff like the type of hardware, the date of order, and warranty information. So don’t worry. No payment info, telephone number, or e-mail addresses were released. In order words, no harm, no foul.

They couldn’t be more wrong about the impact of this data breach. In fact, this data is extremely dangerous to get this data into the hands of scammers.

Why Dell Is Wrong

The problem is that Dell appears to be looking at this data breach in isolation. Once you have someone’s name and a physical address, it’s actually super easy to find their phone numbers and e-mail addresses. You just look into data from other data breaches! In fact, the recent T-mobile data breach is super helpful for exposing exactly that information.

This means that now scammers have a way to contact the Dell customers who were in that data breach with mobile phone calls or texts.

But it gets worse.

They’ve just given a gold mine to tech support scammers who want to impersonate Dell. Those scammers try to convince people there is a problem with their computer. And then that they are calling to help fix it. They get the person they call to provide payment for that fix or getting them to install harmful software on their computers. To do that, though, they need to establish credibility when the person answers or sees their text.

And what better way to establish credibility than to start by referencing your Dell order of particular hardware on a particular date? And this is exactly the infor they now have, courtesy of the Dell breach.

We’re sorry, but Dell just couldn’t be more wrong about the damage this breach is likely to cause. It’s not a minor problem because no financial information or phone numbers were given away.

What To Do Now

Dealing with the Dell data breach isn’t an easy problem to solve. A good first step, though, is this: download and run the YouMail app for protection against these scammers. Not only will it block the calls that are sure to come, but it’ll also collect data on those calls which can be ultimately used to shut down the scammers from making those calls and texts in the first place.

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