The news has been no stranger to data breaches that have included such high-profile businesses as Target, Home Depot, and the Heartbleed with hackers getting access to usernames, passwords and other personal details.
Following that, last week Anthem, the world’s second largest health insurer, has been breached and it is suspected that 80 million Americans could have had their social security numbers, email addresses, name and physical addresses compromised in the latest attack. While they have said that no medical information or credit card information was compromised, the information breached is a prime target for identity theft.
In light of this, here are some suggestions to consumers concerned that there information may have been stolen:
- Anthem has a dedicated website and is offering free credit monitoring. The website is www.anthemfacts.com and the dedicated hotline is 877-263-7995. You can look there to read more about getting the credit monitoring or call with any questions regarding.
- Consider a credit freeze. Credit monitoring only puts alerts on your account with the three main business bureaus and are often ignored. Credit freeze can be done for a time and seals your credit reports so no new application for credit can come in. A PIN can be used to temporarily “thaw” your credit if you have any legitimate applications for credit you need to file. The credit freeze will cost anywhere from zero to $10 per credit bureau and needs to be completed with all three.
- Credit freezes can be done for your children as well.
- Be vigilant in checking your credits reports with such sources as annualcreditreport.com as a free credit report check option.
- Expect for scammers to take advantage of the information received from this data breach and be sending out phishing emails and other messages to appear from Anthem, credit bureau and other seemingly legitimate sources.
- Make sure your protect consumer’s data, if it can happen to major corporations with data security measures in place, it can happen to any business.
- The Better Business Bureau has a “Data Security Made Simple” guide available online with free info on how to create a data security plan, which every business needs to have in place.
- Talk to your insurance agency to make sure that you have a cyber security policy is place should any data breach occur.