Health insurance giant Blue Shield of California has recently admitted to a cyber security breach which has affected almost 21,000 of its customers. Blue Shield’s official statement on the matter shows that the company feels the breach is “the result of log-in credentials for certain Blue Shield customer service representatives being misused.” The infiltration could allow the perpetrators to access information such as customer names, addresses and Social Security numbers, with speculation that more in-depth and personal details could have been stolen as well, such as medical records and bank account information. However, Blue Shield has found that the breach did not reach Blue Shield employees, and that the offender gained access to this information by pretending to provide “enrollment assistance” and targeted the company’s call center with a telephone scam.

In response, Blue Shield is offering its customers a complimentary one-year membership in credit card-monitoring service Experian’s ProtectMyID Alert. To prevent this from happening to you, be wary of those offering services such as the afore-mentioned “enrollment assistance,” and when in doubt ask for credentials of the caller. Be sure to use varied and unpredictable passwords, with an emphasis on using separate passwords for both personal and business accounts.

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