You probably already know… On Wednesday, Anthem announced that its servers had been hacked. What does this mean for you?
If you are a current—or former—Anthem customer, in ANY of their business lines (Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Caremore, Unicare, Healthlink, and DeCare) your personal information has probably been accessed by hackers. By personal information, we mean: name, date of birth, Anthem member ID/ social security number, address, phone number, email address and employment information. Personal enough for you?
Anthem is the nation’s second largest insurer, so potentially tens of millions of people are affected by this breach.
Anthem has a web site set up to discuss the breach, although nothing reassuring has appeared there as of this writing. You can find it HERE. The link will open in a new tab and take you to a site maintained by Anthem. The site consists of 2 pages, one is a general announcement about the breach and the usual apology for the inconvenience. The other is a FAQ page that may answer some of your questions. Anthem says that they will update the site as they get more information. They also have a toll free number: 877.263.7995 where you can listen to a pre-recorded announcement about the breach, and select an option to speak to a representative. I suspect, however, that you would be on hold for quite a while.
Anthem says it will be offering credit monitoring and identity protection to people whose information has been stolen…BUT UNTIL THAT HAPPENS, if you are a current or former Anthem customer, PAY ATTENTION. As we have discussed before, your best protection against identity theft and cyber crime in general, is pretty much the same as protecting yourself against any crime…pay attention. Keep track of your accounts and immediately question anything that seems out of the ordinary—and then take advantage of any cyber protection Anthem might offer.
Even though Anthem is going to great lengths to emphasize that no credit card information was hacked, names, addresses, birth dates AND SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS were hacked…all the ingredients necessary for a delicious batch of identity theft. Don’t wait for Anthem (or anyone else, for that matter) to offer you protection. Your best protection is to pay attention to all your accounts and to be aware of anything phishy going on with them.