Kaine Shares Resources For Federal Employees Following Data Breach
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on the data breach that may have exposed the personal information of approximately 4 million current and former federal employees:
“I’m deeply concerned that yet another data breach has compromised the personal information of approximately four million of our nation’s public servants, including many Virginians. As cyber-attacks become increasingly common, the government must do more to protect federal employees and swiftly notify workers whose information may have been exposed. This latest breach is further proof that across-the-board sequester cuts are harming our national security at a time when we need to be investing more resources in cybersecurity.”
Kaine shared the following resources from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM):
Beginning June 8 and continuing through June 19, 2015, OPM will be notifying individuals whose Personally Identifiable Information may have been exposed in this incident. And OPM is offering affected individuals credit monitoring services and identity theft insurance with CSID, a company that specializes in identity theft protection and fraud resolution. This comprehensive, 18-month membership includes credit monitoring and $1 million in identity theft protection services. It is available immediately at no cost to affected individuals identified by OPM. If your personal information is at all at risk, you will receive notification from OPM either in the form of a letter via the U.S. Postal Service, or, in an email from this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steps for Monitoring Your Identity and Financial Information
- Monitor financial account statements and immediately report any suspicious or unusual activity to financial institutions.
- Request a free credit report at http://www.AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228. Consumers are entitled by law to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus – Equifax®, Experian®, and TransUnion® – for a total of three reports every year. Contact information for the credit bureaus can be found on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website, http://www.ftc.gov.
- Review resources provided on the FTC identity theft website, http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft. The FTC maintains a variety of consumer publications providing comprehensive information on computer intrusions and identity theft.
- You may place a fraud alert on your credit file to let creditors know to contact you before opening a new account in your name. Simply call TransUnion® at 1-800-680-7289 to place this alert. TransUnion® will then notify the other two credit bureaus on your behalf.
Precautions to Help You Avoid Becoming a Victim
- Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, visits, or email messages from individuals asking about you, your employees, your colleagues or any other internal information. If an unknown individual claims to be from a legitimate organization, try to verify his or her identity directly with the company.
- Do not provide personal information or information about your organization, including its structure or networks, unless you are certain of a person’s authority to have the information.
- Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. This includes following links sent in email.
- Do not send sensitive information over the Internet before checking a website’s security (for more information, see Protecting Your Privacy, http://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-013).
- Pay attention to the URL of a website. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net).
- If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the company directly. Do not use contact information provided on a website connected to the request; instead, check previous statements for contact information. Information about known phishing attacks is also available online from groups such as the Anti-Phishing Working Group (http://www.antiphishing.org).
- Install and maintain anti-virus software, firewalls, and email filters to reduce some of this traffic (for more information, see Understanding Firewalls, http://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-004; Understanding Anti-Virus Software, http://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-005; and Reducing Spam, http://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-007).
- Take advantage of any anti-phishing features offered by your email client and web browser.
- Additional information about preventative steps by consulting the Federal Trade Commission’s website, http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft. The FTC also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with the commission using the contact information below:
Identity Theft Clearinghouse
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580