4.5 Million Patient Records Leaked in Healthcare Data Breach

Las Vegas, Nevada (PRWEB) August 20, 2014

As revealed on Monday, August 18th the CNN Technology blog, one of the largest U.S. hospital groups, Community Health Systems, announced on Monday that its databases had been attacked by hackers based out of China. The resulting data breach compromised the names, Social Security numbers, physical addresses, birthdays and telephone numbers of 4.5 million patients who received treatment or were referred to one of the network-owned hospitals in the last five years.

Community Health Systems owns 206 hospitals across 29 states, with their largest presence in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.

Who is affected?

In this data breach, both patients and medical providers alike are affected. The data leak is a violation of the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), meaning that providers are at risk for being sued by both the state attorneys general and patients for damages and negligence. Since patient information has been shared, the hospital network is offering identity theft protection to the patients affected.

While the hospital has wiped the hackers malware from their computer systems as of now, they are still filing a claim with the Security and Exchange Commission as a part of their disaster protection plan.

How to proceed

It is important to remember that a data breach can occur at any healthcare practice, no matter the size. Every practice is required by law to comply with HIPAA so when there is a violation, there are certain parameters that must be met in order to avoid large financial fines and prevent the breach of patient information. Below are just a few:

MyLife.com Launches New Services to Protect Consumers’ Privacy and Public Image Online

(PRWEB) August 07, 2014

MyLife.com announces new services that empower people to protect their privacy and public image from one central place. The amount of data being created by peopleand about themis growing online every day. As a result, it is increasingly difficult for people to manage where and how their information is used, putting their privacy at risk. With identity theft and security breaches a growing concern, it is more important than ever that people obtain greater visibility and control over their information online.

MyLife.com scans the internet, finding what personal information is available and where, so members can easily control how they look and remove sensitive information. Alert notifications are sent when new information is found so immediate action can be taken.

Members can also craft a public profile that they want to be found on search engines. The service then shows who visits their profile, and based on who they are, provides tools to selectively expose and hide additional pieces of personal information.

In line with the Federal Trade Commissions report to Congress earlier this year recommending data brokers provide consumers access to and control of their information1, MyLife.com offers a centralized portal with the belief that consumers should be able to easily protect and manage their personal information online.

We believe that as people live their lives online, they do not need to sacrifice personal privacy. It should not be difficult for you to take control of your information online, said Jeff Tinsley, founder and chief executive officer of MyLife.com. People are rightfully concerned about their personal privacy and public image. We intend to continue building valuable services that put people in control of their information for their personal and professional benefit.

About MyLife.com, Inc.

MyLife.com (http://www.MyLife.com) helps people protect their privacy and public image. With personal information scattered everywhere, MyLife.com finds public data across the Internet, empowering users to take control of the way they look online, and remove sensitive private information. Founded in 2002 by technology entrepreneur Jeff Tinsley, the company has more than 60 million members and is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA.

1 Federal Trade Commission Report May 2014 Data Brokers a Call for Transparency and Accountability

10 Simple Ways to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

These tips will help prevent against identity theft. Identity theft is public enemy number one at the Federal Trade Commission. The reason is that it tops the list of fraud complaints. Because it’s so prevalent, you need to have a cursory examination of some tips to help prevent identity theft. You can win the fight against identity theft by curtailing the efforts of the identity thieves before they can strike. They’ll come up empty when they try to go after you. It’s not just about reducing the use of your computer. Most identity thieves strike offline. Even worse, 43% of identity thieves know their victims.

Take a look through these 9 simple tips to help prevent identity theft:

1. To prevent identity theft, don’t ever release your Social Security number. Keep this information as close to your breast as possible. The only thing an identity thief needs to steal your identity is the Social Security number you have.

2. Keep all passwords in your memory. Never write the passwords down or carry the passwords around with you ever.

3. When you’re at an ATM machine, be absolutely certain that no one is leaning over you and watching you enter your password in.

4. When you’re bidding in an online auction, make sure that you pay the seller directly with a credit card so that you’ll be able to dispute the charges if the goods do not arrive on time or they were not represented well. If you ever can help it, then avoid paying by money order or check.

5. Make sure that you have healthy skepticism, as far as your attitude, when you are looking at websites that are offering giveaways or prizes. What’s usually the case is that you’ll just be asked to buy something that you didn’t want to begin with, even if you think you’ve won it.

6. Make sure that your children know not to ever give out any of their personal information like their password, telephone number, or address.

7. Use a protective subscription service that alerts you to identity fraud.

8. Make sure that you don’t carry around too much in your wallet or purse. Common theft is the easiest way for criminals to steal your identity. Make sure that you don’t have your Social Security card, birth certificate, or passport with you when you go out shopping. Don’t carry around any extra credit cards with you when you go out shopping.

9. When you’re making your PINs and passwords, never use the last four digits of a Social Security number, your birth date, or your middle name. Don’t use anything that could be easily guessed by an identity thief. You’re just asking for trouble.

10. Make sure that you review your credit report right now. One of the best ways to know if a criminal has taken your identity is to look at your credit report. Make sure that you report any mistakes to the credit bureaus. You can receive one free copy of your credit report every year according to federal laws.

Identity Theft Protection Tips

The Federal Trade Commission consistently puts identity theft near or at the top of the list of the different kinds of fraud complaints. Even cutting down on your use of your PC may not help that much. The majority of identity thefts took place offline, according to a study let out by Javelin Strategy and Research. It’s not what most people might think. One other trouble statistic was that 44% of identity thefts were committed by a person that the victim knew.

You always see it in the dailies during the day and on the nightly news. People fear that someone do a bunch charges on a credit card or clean out a bank account when they’re not looking. There is a lot of reason to be scared. All an identity thief needs to commit identity theft is your Social Security number. The crime is pretty simple to commit, but prosecuting it, and investigating it beforehand, is time-consuming and complex. However, once you get the facts under wraps, and you utilize preventive measures, you can declare victory in the war against fraud and identity theft.

Identity thieves carry out their crimes in different ways:

  • They take credit card payments and additional mail that’s outgoing from the private mailboxes of homes.
  • They look through garbage bins and scour for credit card statements, cancelled checks, and preapproved credit cards.
  • They use hacking to get into the computers of everyday, ordinary people to get their personal information and steal their data.
  • Identity thieves do a change of address in the name of the victim to divert the mail and collect financial and personal data.
  • That’s right! They even go so far as to do a change of address form in the name of the victim. They collect all their mail and try to cherry-pick through it to find the pieces of mail that can help them in their identity theft. These people are completely shameless.

    There are some good, solid tips to prevent or safeguard yourself from identity theft.

    1. Never release your Social Security number to anyone. Keep this confidential information close to your breast

    2. Make sure all your passwords are in memory and not written down anywhere or carried around with you, ever! Someone could find your wallet or purse. They could use that information, along with your credit cards and other identifying information in your wallet or purse to commit identity fraud.

    3. When you’re at an ATM machine, be certain no one is looking over your shoulder trying to get your PIN number. They might know you or know where you work, and they could try to nab your wallet or purse at some time. Some identity thieves even go so far as to mark down the license plate of the person whose ATM password they have learned. Then, they go and rob their house when they’re not at home. They do it in the hope of finding a wallet or purse that was left at home. Never underestimate the underhandedness of an identity thief.

    Five Ways to Prevent Identity Theft

    The Federal Trade Commission lists identity theft near the top of the list of the fraud complaints that people make. Let’s take a look at some methods you can use to prevent identity theft. The more steps you take, the safer you are.

    1) Check out the contents of your purse or wallet before you go out and go shopping. Simple theft is the simplest way for criminals to take your identity and go out and engage in fraud with it. Before you decide to go out shopping, think about what kind of critical information you are actually carrying around in your wallet with you. Don’t carry birth certificates, passports, or Social Security cards with you. Don’t even take any unnecessary credit cards with you. All a criminal needs to steal your identity is your Social Security number.

    2) Make a list of the bank account and credit information you have and keep it secured in one place. Make sure that you write down the credit limits, expiration dates, and account numbers. Write down the email addresses and telephone numbers of the fraud departments of the credit cards too. If you see that one of your cards has been stolen or is missing, then look at the list and instantly let your credit card provider know about the loss that you have taken. This will not only keep fraudulent charges at bay, but it will notify your credit card provider if the card is ever used again.

    3) Make sure that you protect your PINs and passwords. When you’re making your passwords and PINs, don’t ever put the final four digits of your Social Security card or any other series of digits that an identity thief could guess. Make passwords that have random strings of numbers and letters. Try to go to your financial situation and get enhanced security protection for your account. Most of them will enable you to have a password or code when you access your account. If you are asked to make a reminder question, don’t use one that other people can easily remember. Memorize all the passwords you have. Don’t write any of them down anywhere in your wallet.

    4) Take a look at your credit report right now. One of the best things to see if a criminal has taken your identity is to take a look at your credit report. Look over it and try to find any mistakes. Report them to the credit bureaus. A federal law will give consumers the ability to get one free copy of your credit report every year.

    5) Never give out any confidential information on the phone or to an unwelcome caller saying that they are from a financial institution or a creditor as well. Identity thieves will usually employ your Social Security number to make fraudulent accounts or get access to assets or financial information, especially in tandem with the enhanced activity around the holiday season. Don’t get your Social Security number printed on checks and never let merchants write your Social Security numbers on the checks.