Breaking news yesterday, Anthem Inc. released a statement that hackers were able to break into their database and retrieve personal and confidential information of millions. They are unsure how cyber attackers broke into their system but believe that it was a onetime event that occurred last week.
We do not know the exact number of victims or the full extent of the information retrieved from hackers. However, based off of what is being reported by USA Today and released in a statement by Anthem Inc., we believe that potentially 80 million people’s (current and former customers, as well as employees) data has been breached including the following information: names, email addresses, Social Security Numbers, addresses, birthdays, and possibly medical identification numbers.
Please review these steps if you have ever been, or currently are, a customer or employee of Anthem Inc.:
Step 1: Review your InfoArmor account to ensure your personal information is up to date. Also be sure to take advantage of additional features such as activating CreditArmor and inputting information (including medical ID cards) into WalletArmor.
By updating your account information we can monitor the underground market and continue to watch for fraudulent activity using your information, ensuring that we alert you of any suspicious activity or help you begin the process of recovering from identity theft.
Step 2: Change your password of the email account that was used within Anthem’s records and any profile passwords that are associated with this account (e.g. online banks, social media, etc.).
Your passwords should be at least eight characters long and a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Your passwords should not be shared across more than one account.
Step 3: Place fraud alerts with credit bureaus
Fraud alerts are good for 90 days, free of charge and renewable an infinite amount of times. An individual can place an alert with one of the bureaus and that bureau will notify the other two. To place a fraud alert please visit one of these links:
Step 4: Let your bank and credit card companies know immediately
Bringing your bank and credit card companies to attention of this breach can lock down your account against attacks. Banks and credit card companies will actually excuse you from any financial liability caused by data breaches. When dealing with identity thieves, a few minutes can be the difference between losing a dollar or losing everything in your checking account.
Additionally, if you have reason to believe your information has been used to commit fraud, complete the following steps:
Create an identity theft affidavit with the FTC
While you already have a police report in hand, you’ll also want to contact the Federal Trade Commission to build an identity theft affidavit. This affidavit will help you assemble the facts about your case—when the identity theft happened, which accounts were affected, etc.—and get them dated, signed, and notarized. This provides a credible document that you can show to credit card companies, banks, and any other companies you need to in order the fix the damage caused by a data breach.
File a Police Report
For your protection against excessive financial liability, you need to file a report with your local police department as soon as possible. This makes your status as an identity theft victim official. It also creates an official document for you to show the credit bureaus to lock down any activity around your identity.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our Privacy Advocates at (800) 789-2720. We are available to help you Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific.