The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Anthem’s Cyber Security Hack
It was earlier this month that the database of America’s second largest health insurance company, Anthem, was cyber hacked. The hackers were able to gain over 80 million records, making this the largest data hack of any U.S. health insurance company. The breach included emails, birthdays, social security numbers, employment information as well as home addresses. The good news is that the hack did not pull financial information such as bank account and credit card numbers. The bad news is that Anthem customers are now subject to not only identity theft but tax fraud.
This cyber hack will cost Anthem millions of dollars. Anthem hired the cybersecurity firm, FireEye, to investigate the recent data breach. FireEye reported back that the health insurance company will need to apply encryptions to their data base as a way to prevent such cyber hacking from happening again. Anthem has also been in talks with a leading identity protection provider, AllClear ID.
AllClear ID offers services such as credit monitoring and repairing identity theft. As of yet there has not been any reported details about the contract however, Anthemfacts.com states that AllClear ID is standing by to assist its customers. Anthem has also stated that customers’ information dating all the way back to 2004 may have been compromised and may be able to enroll in the services provided by the AllClear Pro plan.
According to the AllClear ID website, this program includes, for the price of $14.95 monthly, a range of cyber security services. If all 80 million customers were to enroll in this program it could cost Anthem up to $28 billion. The catch is that neither Anthem nor AllClear ID have commented on the number of customers or the credentials of eligibility for the services potentially being offered.
By the end of December Anthem had over 36 million medical members. If you are one of those 36 million here are four pieces of advice you should consider:
1. Visit www.anthemfacts.com for the best source of most up-to-date information on the breach.
2. When/If you receive the email Anthem has promised to send to all of its compromised members, follow the instructions and take advantage of any and all protection offered.
3. Utilize www.annualcreditreport.com as an extra layer of protection since it is a Federal law that credit reporting companies (i.e. TransUnion, Experian and Equifax) give you a credit report annually, should you ask for it. So much is determined by your credit score, this is an excellent resource to monitor why, how and who has had access to it.
4. Whoever hacked Anthem has all the information they need to file a fraudulent income tax return. Do not hesitate to do to your research on how this data breach affects you in your state. Also be aware that this breach has in fact become an open FBI investigation related to tax fraud when filed with TurboTax software.
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