WASHINGTON (7/21/15)--The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently announced a massive hack of security-clearance information that affected many government employees past and present, their spouses and co-habitants.
Compromising 21 million Social Security numbers (SSNs), this hack is separate from the breach of OPM data that the feds made public last month and which exposed 4.2 million SSNs. (National Journal July 9).
The first breach was discovered in April. Cyberthieves stole information such as full names, birth dates, home addresses and SSNs. If you were affected by this breach, you should have already received notification.
While investigating the first breach in June, OPM discovered that additional information had been stolen, including the background investigation records of current, former, and prospective federal employees, and their spouses or co-habitants. Notifications for this incident have not yet begun.
If your personal information has been exposed, the OPM will send you a letter explaining what information was involved. The government also will inform you about identity-theft protection services that will be made available to you for three years at no cost.
You don’t have to wait for that letter--here’s what you can do now:
For updates about the breach, check opm.gov. For more information about what to do after a data breach, visit identitytheft.gov/databreach. You also can call toll-free 844-222-2743. International callers can call collect 512-327-0700.
For related information, read "Heartbleed Defense: Three Tools That Protect Your Passwords” in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.