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Whether you are an employee or an employer, today’s news of a sophisticated data breach of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield should be of concern to anyone currently or formerly covered by the insurer.

While exact details are not known, the data breach seems extensive. Anthem has set up www.anthemfacts.com and a phone hotline at 877-263-7995 to answer member questions.

Anthem is offering free credit check monitoring and identity protection to individuals who may be affected; here are a few other tips to protect your privacy and identity:

  • Change Your Passwords

Change your password and do it immediately. If the same or similar password was used on other accounts change all of them. It is always a good idea to change passwords on a regular basis. The best passwords for security contain both letters and numbers to form words not found in the dictionary. Don’t use your name or something easy to guess and don’t share your passwords with others.

  • Be Alert and Watchful

If your data has been stolen or compromised, keep a close eye on all of your financial and other private date for some time. Activity may occur right away but the criminals may wait until the furor of a breach has passed.

  • Data Breach Alerts

Make sure you sign up for those alerts from credit card companies or other financial institution to receive information immediately if there is suspected unusual activity. Sign up for the alert that you will receive the fastest such as a text message.

  • Keep Copies of All of Your Credit/Debit Cards, License, and Other Important Personal Information

This will be helpful also if you lose your purse or wallet or it is stolen. You will then have all the card numbers and the telephone numbers to call in contacting companies to put a hold on your accounts or have credit and debit cards replaced. You will also have your driver’s license number handy.

For more information, read this article in today’s MaineBiz: http://www.mainebiz.biz/article/20150205/NEWS0101/150209977