As is the case with many government screw-ups, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hack reported last week has now been revealed to be much more worse than originally thought. Instead of four million civilian federal employees having their PII exposed, investigators now believe as many as 14 million prospective, current and former employees have been exposed. In addition to the usual PII (name, address, Social Security #, DOB, etc) the information also included background investigations which are known to include things like arrest records, financial history, medical problems, as well as information about colleagues, friends, neighbors and relatives.
What this means for you:
Given the large number of current and former government workers, it’s highly probable you or someone you know falls into the 14 million compromised in this attack. There are things you or they should be doing, not the least of which are the following:
- Set up credit monitoring for you and your family – take advantage of the free services offered, or set up something independently.
- Freeze your credit file – Krebs on Security has an excellent explanation of how to accomplish this.
- Review the Federal Trade Commission’s recommended actions.
- Watch your important online accounts like a hawk and investigate any suspicious activity immediately.