As more medical data is digitized and shared between providers, experts expect data breaches in the category to increase. In 2009, three percent of all breaches originated from the medical field, much more than in 2008.
Many data breaches result in consumers' personal data - such as their name, address, Social Security number and even credit card information - being made publicly available. Some breaches result in the exposure of a consumer's health insurance provider information and personal medical history. Data breaches represent a strong risk for identity theft, especially if the crime was intentionally committed.
After data breach incidents, a consumer might find comfort in the protection a credit monitoring service can provide.
Credit monitoring informs consumers about any instance of someone attempting to open a line of credit using their personal information. In many cases, medical companies that suffer data breaches offer free credit monitoring to all affected consumers. If offered, take advantage of it. While credit monitoring will alert consumers to a potential problem, so it can be stopped before it gets too serious.
If your personal data is compromised due to a data breach and the data is used, contact the credit card issuer and notify them that the recently opened account is fraudulent. A fraud alert can be placed on the credit report to require lenders get more information than is typically needed to open a line of credit.