Remember when the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced the names, addresses, social security information and other personal details of about 4.2 million individuals had been breached? And then they announced a few weeks later that (oops!) the breach actually affected a little over 20 million? (What’s an extra 15 million personnel files among friends, right!?)
If you were among the first batch of breached professionals who signed up for credit monitoring, your data protection is about to expire. The first contract awarded in the wake of the breach was to Winvale/CSID. The second contract award was to ID Experts. The ID Experts contract is set to continue. Those previously covered under Winvale/CSID have the option to sign up for continued coverage with ID Experts.
The hacks included both personnel records and background investigation files. Only those involved in the personnel files breach (not those impacted by both), are affected by the expiring Winvale/CSID contract. If your coverage is set to expire, you should receive a notification through both your agency and via mail.
Should You Sign-Up for Credit Monitoring?
Less than a quarter of those affected by the 20 million person breach signed up for the free credit monitoring provided, according to OPM. Those who denied coverage expressed hesitation about sharing their information with a private company (after sharing it with Uncle Sam went so well). Others reported receiving follow-up sales calls for additional credit services after signing up for the monitoring funded by the government. Security clearance attorney Sean Bigley advises a simple, cheap option for identity theft protection – applying a security freeze on your credit reports.
“Personally, I trust myself to protect my own personal information more than I trust the federal bureaucracy to do so (now more than ever),” wrote Bigley. “And, at the risk of being a pessimist, I wouldn’t discount the possibility that OPM’s “identity monitoring service” also gets hacked.”