If you’re one of the 20 million or so people whose Social Security numbers and other sensitive information was stolen last year in the massive government data breach, you’re receiving some extra protection.
As of June 1, every affected person has $5 million in identify theft insurance, up from $1 million that was initially offered, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced on June 24. In addition, OPM is working on extending credit monitoring and identity protection services for 10 years, an increase from their initial offer of between 18 months and 3 years.
Late last year, Congress told OPM to increase the theft insurance and credit monitoring protection. AFGE had argued for months that the protections initially offered by OPM were not enough to address the severity of the security breaches, and Congress passed a measure authored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland that ramped up the protections.
OPM also is sending a second round of notices to individuals who were affected by the breach into background investigation files but did not receive the initial notification. About 10% of the initial mailings were returned due to bad addresses, OPM said.
To enroll in the identity theft protection and credit monitoring services, or to read answers to frequently asked questions, visit www.opm.gov/cybersecurity.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 625,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.