The anticipated unveiling of our health insurance exchange marketplaces is upon us. Whether talking about the federal or state run versions, online enrollment will be the fastest way to enroll and determine if you qualify for a premium subsidy. With easy online enrollment available that means a lot more of your personal information will be transmitted online. While all the necessary steps are being taken to ensure hackers can’t access your personal information, we all know nothing is foolproof. The glorious invention of the Internet leaves us all more vulnerable to identity theft and the costs associated can be high.
In recognition of this new threat, federal agencies are collaborating to identify trends in fraud. HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, made a recent statement, “We have strong security safeguards in the marketplace to protect people’s personal information against fraud and we will work with our partners to aggressively prosecute bad actors, just as we have been doing in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.” Sure, they will aggressively prosecute, but that leaves you high and dry until or if the perpetrators are found. Finding the catalyst of such threats is not an easy task in this high tech, fast paced world. So, let’s say the government’s online protection is breached and now your personal information is up for sale to the highest bidder. You may end up with another “you” out there or exotic trips you never got to enjoy charged to your credit cards but the real issue is how to undo the damage that can be done so quickly.
Identify theft has been on the rise for a number of years. Most of us are familiar with companies that advertise protection of your identity and credit monitoring but make sure you have the restoration protection you need before signing up. With online information theft on the rise, be sure that you never send personal information over the Internet without proper encryption. The clear problem is how do we identify encryption levels vs. the tools used against us?
Situations of compromised personal information can be reported to government agencies. The FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network database will track such reports and federal and state law enforcement follows the trail to the culprits (hopefully). Complaints are routed to multiple law enforcement agents for analysis but such potential fraud activity will be hard to track across all 50 states and the rest of the world!
For suggestions on how to ensure your information is safe and identity can be restored, contact Storz Insurance Services, Inc at (408) 395-3303 or email here.