NextGen healthcare, an electronic health record software company recently notified a million patients that their personal data had been stolen in a major data breach that apparently occurred between March 29th and April 14th of this year.. This particular data breach is extremely serious because the information stolen included names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and home addresses.
A letter was sent to all of the affected people recently informing them of the data breach and offering free credit monitoring for two years.
As I have reminded you many times, we are only as safe and secure as the security of the companies, government agencies and websites that have our personal information. Even if you are extremely diligent in protecting your personal information, you can be in danger of identity theft and scams if your personal information falls into the hands of hackers.
So what can you do to protect yourself from these data breaches that will be occurring?
One important lesson is to limit the amount of personal information that you provide to companies and websites whenever possible. For example, your doctor doesn’t need your Social Security number for his or her records. This is particularly significant because health care providers are the biggest targets for data breaches.
You should make sure that you have a unique password for each of your online accounts so that if one of your passwords is compromised in a data breach, all of your accounts will not be in danger. If your information is compromised in a data breach, you should immediately change the password for that account.
If you have not already done so, set up dual factor authentication for each of you accounts where it is available. This will protect you from having those accounts stolen by someone who may have access to your password.
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