As many as 80 million customers of Anthem Inc., the nation’s second-largest health insurance company, had their account compromised last week. Anthem didn’t make this news public until late last night.
The hackers most likely were not interested in your medical exams. What they gained in this massive hack was far more valuable to them than your medical information; access to information including names, birthdays, medical IDs, Social Security numbers, street addresses, e-mail addresses and employment information including income data.
“Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyber attack,” Anthem president and CEO Joseph Swedish said in a statement posted on anthemfacts.com
Depending on how widespread Anthem’s breach was, it might be among one of the larger cyber attacks in recent months. In 2014, retailers Target and Home Depot experienced data breaches that compromised credit card information for up to 110 million customers and 53 million customers, respectively. Major financial institution JPMorgan Chase also announced that it had been hacked and the names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses for some 76 million household had been compromised.
With such large scale hacks into major corporations and banks on the rise, it’s probably a safe bet to assume that someone, somewhere knows more about you than you know about yourself. Does this make you want to switch from credit cards to cash only? Not an easy thing to do, especially if you use your credit card for business purchases. Aside from that, no one wants to walk around with large sums of cash in their pocket.
Then there’s the convenience factor of using a credit/debit card, plus one-click shopping keeps consumers coming back for more despite increasingly common credit card breaches.
Keep a close eye on your bank and credit card statements. The “good news” is that most banks and credit card companies will cover unauthorized transactions.