Delaware’s JobLink Site Suffers a Disastrous Data Breach
More than 4 million data records are lost or stolen every day. While you may think that most data breaches are caused by negligent individuals or businesses, there are an increasing number of ways to be hacked in the modern world. In fact, the government is also at risk of being hacked. Recently, the Department of Labor’s JobLink site was hacked and more than 200,000 job seekers’ personal information may have been exposed. Here’s a closer look at what happened and how you can protect yourself if you’re an identity theft victim.
What Happened in the JobLink Breach?
The Department of Labor’s JobLink site helps connect job seekers with employer in ten states, including Delaware, which is one of the latest states to have been affected by a data breach. A hacker joined the software program and exploited a vulnerability in the code, which has since been fixed, reports Delaware Online. The hacker gained access to users’ names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.
In addition to fixing the point of access, Delaware’s Department of Labor, the FBI and digital investigations firm RSA are working together to determine how many users were affected by the data breach and where they’re located. They’re also setting up a call center and devising a formal notification process to let users know if their information was viewed.
What Should You Do if You’re a JobLink User?
Until there is more information, you should monitor your credit reports through one of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion), recommends Delaware.gov. You also should keep a close eye on your bank statements, credit cards and other personal information to check for any red flags. If you believe your identity was stolen, you should request a credit freeze and fraud alert on your file. You can also call the toll-free number to Delaware’s Department of Labor or to the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit.
How Can You Protect Your Personal Information?
There are many other ways you can help protect your identity from hackers. One of the easiest ways is to use a credit monitoring service, which keeps an eye on your sensitive information and alerts you to any vulnerabilities or possible problems. You should also be sure to shred and destroy mail and other physical pieces of information that are no longer needed so they cannot be stolen.
Secure your personal information online by only visiting secure websites and being smart when sharing your information. Be aware of phishing schemes asking for your birth date, social security number or other information. Use strong passwords (don’t use your birthday, kids’ names or pets’ names) and change them frequently. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your intuition because it may be a scam.
There’s a lot to be learned from Delaware’s JobLink data breach. No one, not even the U.S. government, is impervious to cyberattacks. You need to be careful with your personal information and keep it as secure as possible. If a data breach does occur or you become the victim of identity theft, report it immediately to a credit reporting agency and take steps to recover your information as quickly as possible.
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