Toyota previously warned that its T-Connect service potentially leaked about 296,000 pieces of customer information in October 2022. Toyota customers affected by this data breach include T-Connect users who registered their email on the Toyota T-Connect site since July 2017.
At the same time, it added that third-party access "could not be completely ruled out." There was no possibility, though, that users' sensitive personal information, such as names, phone numbers or credit card information, were leaked, Toyota had stated.
Enable two-factor authentication
While a strong and unique password is a good first line of defense, enabling two-factor authentication across your accounts will help your cause by providing an added layer of security.
Keep an eye out for phishing attacks
Given that email addresses may have been compromised, Toyota specifically warned its customers about the possibility of phishing attacks and other unsolicited emails that may contain malware or links to malicious sites. While it’s always wise to keep a skeptical eye open for unsolicited messages that ask you for information or that contain attachments you weren’t expecting, it’s particularly important after breaches.
The Japanese automaker had not confirmed cases of the information being misused but cautioned that there was a possibility of spamming, phishing scams and unsolicited email messages being sent to the users' email addresses.
Staying Safe in the Wake of the Toyota Data Leak
If your personal information gets caught up in a data leak or breach, take the steps to protect yourself. Should that information get into the hands of bad actors, it could lead to follow-on attacks such as phishing attempts, account hacks, and, in extreme cases, identity crime.
Back in October, the firm said 296,019 email addresses and customer numbers of those using T-Connect, a telematics service that connects vehicles via a network, were potentially leaked. The affected customers are individuals who signed up to the service's website using their email addresses since July 2017.
Consider using an identity monitoring
An identity monitoring service can monitor everything from email addresses to IDs and phone numbers for signs of breaches so you can take action to secure your accounts before they’re used for identity theft. Personal information harvested from data breaches can end up on dark web marketplaces where it’s bought by other bad actors so they can launch their own attacks.
Clean up your personal data online
As mentioned earlier, information stolen in a data breach may indirectly identify you. Yet when pieced together with other information, it can then directly identify you. Cad actors can complete this identity picture puzzle with the information provided by data brokers that buy and sell personal information online.
Consider using comprehensive online protection
A complete suite of online protection software can offer layers of extra security. In addition to more private and secure time online with a VPN, identity monitoring, and password management, it includes web browser protection that can block malicious and suspicious links that could lead you down the road to malware or a phishing scam—which antivirus protection can’t do alone.
The company further could not confirm whether this information was in fact accessed. However, the company could not deny the possibility that it was at some point during that five-year period.
Also note that bad actors may launch phishing attacks where they pose as Toyota, all with the aim to steal personal information. Such emails can clearly look like a scam, such as when they include typos, grammatical errors, or sloppy graphics.