Temporary services offered post-breach are no match for those long-standing services often provided by financial institutions, insurance companies, and employers
Following breaking news confirming 21.5 million Office of Personnel Management breach victims had their social security numbers exposed, CyberScout™ announces that those impacted may have additional options when it comes to identity management and identity theft resolution. Free short-term relief provided by institutions experiencing a breach are beneficial, but can’t compare with the robust, long-term proactive identity management and identity theft resolution service offered by financial institutions, insurance companies, and employers. As the number of breach victims continue to grow and as breaches become the third certainty in life, consumers can feel empowered about proactively managing their identities with the help of these services they likely don’t even know they have access to.
Those impacted by any breach should reach out to their homeowners or renters insurance company or insurance agent, call their bank or credit union, or inquire with their employer to see if they have an identity management benefit. More often, this benefit is provided for low or no cost to consumers. Most importantly, the services are also provided proactively, meaning consumers need not experience a crisis moment to actively manage their reputation before a breach exposes their sensitive information. Additionally, coverage is often extended to the entire household, meaning affected family members have access to comprehensive identity management and identity theft resolution services, whether they are affected by a breach or not.
Adam Levin, CyberScout founder and chairman, said: “This is bigger than Anthem and Premera. This not only affects millions of federal employees, but their families as well; they become the collateral damage. Those affected are now exposed to identity theft, phishing schemes and possible extortion threats. This is an egregious breach of the public trust. We are not talking about changing a credit card number. There is no zero liability policy for someone whose Social Security Number and the intimate details of their private life are floating out there for any bad actor who wants to use it against them either financially or politically. This is life altering. It’s vital to know what options and resources are readily available, above and beyond what’s being directly provided by any breached institution with which we have a relationship.”
He argues that it is inevitable we’ll all be impacted by a data breach at some point in our lives, exposing our most sensitive information like a Social Security Number, date of birth, and other personal data to those who will attempt to exploit us in one fashion or another. The fact that 21.5 million people have learned their personal data has been exposed by the breach of the Office of Personnel Management reaffirms it’s simply a matter of when, not if, sensitive information will be exposed. And because the consequences of this and other breaches can be devastating and seemingly never ending, consumers need to do everything they can as individuals to protect themselves moving forward.
Levin continues, “Those who know or believe they have been compromised by the OPM intrusion, or any other data breach should immediately check all available resources including their homeowners or renters insurance policies to determine if identity theft insurance is included as an add-on. They should also check with their banks, credit unions and current employers to see if it’s offered as a benefit. Chances are, a significant number of consumers have some sort of coverage without even realizing it, and if they don't, they should proactively reach out to their providers to determine what options they have before the next major breach hits. Many times, these policies will include a direct line to fraud prevention specialists who can immediately assist in incident remediation and offer sophisticated monitoring services that go beyond simple credit checks with additional 24/7 internet and card monitoring.”
To learn more about CyberScout and what you can do to protect yourself, visit www.CyberScout.com or call (888) 682-5911.
CyberScout™ is the leading provider of services that help businesses and their customers defend against data breaches and identity theft. CyberScout’s unique approach—delivering proactive protection, preventive education, and swift resolution—offers unrivaled support for more than 660 client partners and 17.5 million households. With its wholly owned subsidiary, CyberScout Consulting™, CyberScout delivers information security and data privacy expertise to help businesses avert and respond to data loss. Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., the company has several locations in the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Ireland to serve partners in Europe.