Probably one of the more dangerous hacks so far in 2015, healthcare-provider Anthem has been breached by hackers and its data accessed. The breach may have provided the hackers with up to 80 million sensitive customer records, including Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and much, much more.
Like any other major data breach, this particular one could also have easily been avoided. Apparently, the second-largest healthcare provider in America doesn’t see a need for data encryption. They just left all of its sensitive information for millions of Americans practically in plain sight of hackers. This is naturally a cause for concern, as the information stolen could lead any number of fraudulent activities, including identity theft, credit fraud, and more.
What can you do to protect yourself? Here are some thoughts from ZDNet’s Violet Blue.
Put a Credit Freeze Into Effect Immediately
One of the best ways you can protect yourself from identity theft is to place a freeze on your credit. The freeze allows you to keep others from accessing your credit information. If someone tries to access your credit without your permission, they get blocked, and you’ll be notified of the occurrence.
This isn’t to be confused with a fraud alert, which should also be set up. A fraud alert is basically to let credit reporting companies know that you suspect credit fraud. They can then take steps to keep you safe from any trouble.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
If you haven’t already heard about two-factor authentication, it’s when you set up extra precautions to ensure the security of your account. This can be integrated through a number of different methods, like connecting your smartphone to your email account. It might be a good idea to look into enabling two-factor authentication for your banking account and credit cards, if possible. This puts one more roadblock in the path of hackers trying to steal your identity.
Change Passwords and Login Credentials for Anything Associated with Anthem
Like most health insurance agencies, Anthem has your email address on file. Therefore, it’s logical to assume that this email address will become a target for hackers, and that you should take measures to protect yourself from threats. Take the opportunity to change all passwords and usernames associated with your account, and be sure to make them as secure as possible. Use several different numbers, letters, and special characters for maximum security. Using a password manager can make this process much easier.
Set Alerts for Your Credit Cards
Credit card information wasn’t among the data stolen from the heist, but one can never be too careful, especially in light of the hack. Inform any accounts of the breach, and they will monitor for any suspicious charges. The options might vary, but the fact remains that you need to inform them. Charges outside of your country, or those of an exorbitant amount, are fairly certain giveaways that you’re the target of fraud.
These are just a few ways to protect yourself from credit fraud caused by the Anthem hack. Be sure to stay vigilant and take preventative action to keep hackers away. Hacking in general is something which your business should be concerned with.
If you want to keep the latest threats out of your system, Michell Consulting Group can equip your business’s network with a Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution. You don’t want to be left vulnerable in the face of threats, especially when you deal with sensitive information. Give us a call at 305.592.5433 ext.2601 for more information on how to secure your network and keep your business compliant.