What You Need to Know About a Massive Health Insurance Data Breach

Rob here with Patriot Privacy and the Self Reliance-Institute.

You may have seen the news that Anthem, one of the largest U.S. health insurers, was breached and the personal information of tens of millions of Americans was stolen by cybercriminals.

As always, I fear that Americans are becoming saturated with news of data breaches to the point that some ignore these irresponsible violations of their privacy and security.

And when I say irresponsible, I mean it’s completely irresponsible on the part of Anthem to not have better protected the personal and financial information they are entrusted with by their customers and their employees.

If we don’t start letting these companies know that we will not tolerate lax security, it will just happen again and again and again and…well…you get the point.

OK. Let’s discuss what we know and don’t know about this breach.

{I guarantee that I will give you some info here that you won’t get from Brian Williams at NBC News. Evidently, he’s too busy making up false war stories to report actual news. Sorry—the old broadcaster in me couldn’t resist taking that shot at the incredibly pompous Williams – who we now know is a certified fraud.}

The most important fact I want you to be aware of is that you and your family may be caught up in this breach even if you don’t recognize the name Anthem. That’s because – like many huge corporations – Anthem services many affiliated companies that do business under different names.

For example, in “Insurance giant Anthem discloses huge customer and employee data breach” over at Network World, we learn:

Anthem has 37.5 million subscribers for its health plans, and more than 68 million people are served by its affiliated companies under the brands Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Empire Blue Cross, Amerigroup, Caremore, Unicare, Healthlink and DeCare.

So please make note of those additional health insurance company names. If you use one of them for health insurance, your personal information may have been stolen.

OK. So what types of information are we discussing? According to the same Network World piece:

The stolen data includes names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and member IDs, Anthem said. It also includes employment information and income levels.”

Yup. That’s a heck of a lot of personal and financial data. And, I can guarantee you that’s more than enough for any identity thief to take over your identity and create severe financial harm.

But what about actual medical information? Well, as per Network World’s article, Anthem claims:

No medical data, such as diagnosis or treatment information, or credit card data was exposed…”

Now excuse me if I roll my eyes. Look, I hope that statement is accurate. It probably is.

However, I’ve been an information security consultant for close to 20 years and I can tell you that when corporate databases are breached, the full extent of the breach is often not understood or revealed in the first press release.

It is in the realm of possibility that medical and credit card information was breached but we just don’t know it yet.

So, stay tuned and let’s see if more is revealed about this breach that may have impacted at least 1 out of every 4 Americans.

In the meantime, if you use one of the companies named above – review that list, it’s not just Anthem – you need to immediately change passwords on email accounts and all other accounts where you maintain or access personal and financial information. Do not wait for Anthem or any other company to contact you.

Additionally, you must monitor your credit report closely for at least the next year. This breach contains enough information for identity thieves to open credit accounts in your name.

Finally, I highly recommend you join the Self-Reliance Institute where I provide critical information and techniques for protecting your personal and financial security. If you click that link, you’ll find that if you join you will obtain a complete library of information plus free gifts.

OK, no hard sell – I’m most concerned that you have the info you need about the largest health insurance company data breach in history – but I do think you’d get tremendous information and value at the Self-Reliance Institute.

Be safe, secure and free!

Rob Douglas ([email protected]) – Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist and Former Washington DC Private Detective

Freedom Writers Publishing
1815 Central Park Dr. #358
Steamboat Springs, CO  80487

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