Anthem Breach: How To Protect You and Your Family

Anthem Breach: How To Protect You and Your Family
Follow these tips to protect you and your family’s data from compromise due to the Anthem Data Breach.

  

February 6, 2015

Recently, Anthem announced a breach of their computer systems which may have compromised the information of up to 80 million customers. The breach involved access to customer names, social security numbers, date of birth, job history and insurance account numbers among other items.

What makes this compromise different from recent compromises involving debit and credit cards is that criminals can use this Non Public Personal Information (NPPI) to do some of the following;

–    Make fraudulent claims for medical care,
–    Use this NPPI to gain access to on-line banking, shopping or e-mail accounts,
–    Apply for loans and credit cards under the victim’s name,
–    File fraudulent tax returns with the IRS.

There are things you can do to protect you and your family from this compromise. 

–    Monitor notifications from your health insurers on claims made on your policy,
–    Change your passwords, update your security questions and constantly monitor bank accounts, shopping accounts and electronic mail.
–    If you do not plan to file for any credit in the near future, consider putting a fraud alert or credit freeze on your credit file with the big 3 credit reporting firms.
You can find more information on this process on the Federal Trade Commission website.
–    Enroll into the IRS Identification Protection PIN service and consider filing your Tax Return sooner rather than later. If criminals have enough information, they may try to file your tax return and collect your refund.
–    Ensure you are signed up for IDSafeChoice, F&M Bank’s Fraud Protection Services, a free service for Platinum Account Holders.

If you become a victim of identity theft, consider filing a complaint with the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) on your experience.

Finally, you will want to educate yourself and your family on good security practices to keep you identity safe. Some good resources on this issue are below:

–    Anthem Breach Frequently Asked Questions: Call Anthem’s toll-free number for questions at 877-263-7995
–    Federal Trade Commission site on Identity Theft Fraud: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft
–    Internal Revenue Service site on Identity Protection: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Identity-Protection