Ever since the news broke over the summer about the two data breaches at the Office of Personnel Management that left the personal data of millions of current and former federal employees vulnerable, we have received questions from some of users who wanted to know how to find out if they were among the federal workers impacted despite not having heard anything from OPM.
Good news – now you can find out.
OPM has launched a new section on its website called the Cybersecurity Resource Center that lets federal employees find out whether or not the data breaches left their personal information at risk.
However, before you rush to contact the verification center, pay special attention to this message on the website in which OPM requests you wait just a little longer:
“If you believe that you were impacted, but have not yet received your notification letter, we ask that you wait until mid-December before contacting the verification center. The Federal Government anticipates completing the mailing of notification letters by the end of the second week in December.”
According to a blog post by OPM Director Beth Cobert, OPM is sending out roughly 800,000 letters to impacted individuals each day and is on schedule to finish in the next two weeks, hence the statement on the new website.
According to Cobert, “If you do not receive a letter by the middle of December, either the government could not identify a valid address for you after using both government and commercial data sources, or our records indicated that your Social Security Number was not compromised in the intrusion.”
Cobert added, “I urge anyone who has not received a letter by the middle of this month and who believes his or her data may have been taken, to reach out to the verification center so we can confirm your correct address and send you a letter.”
How to Verify Your Data
You can verify whether or not you were impacted either online or by phone. You have to provide your name, address, Social Security number and birth date to do the verification. Regardless of the outcome, you will receive a notification letter which either gives you a PIN code and enrollment instructions for the free ID monitoring (in which case you were impacted) or which lets you know that your personal information was spared. You should receive the letter in about 2-4 weeks.
Those Already Notified Can Get Help Too
If you have already received a letter from OPM saying your personal information was exposed, the new website can help you also. Site visitors can sign up for the free identity theft protection service that OPM is offering impacted individuals.
To What Extent Was Your Personal Information Exposed?
The site offers visitors two sample letters from OPM which indicate whether or not your fingerprints were among the data compromised in the breaches. If they were, the letter you get from OPM will look like this, but if they were not, it will look like this.
Did you receive a letter from OPM? Have you signed up for the free ID monitoring service? Share your advice and experiences regarding the process in the comments below.