By now, most if not everyone has heard the unfortunate news that nearly every driver in Louisiana has had their Office of Motor Vehicle (OMV) data stolen by hackers. Specifically, the OMV has disclosed that a third-party vendor they use to manage your data, called Moveit, has been hacked.
The result is that if you have a Louisiana driver’s license, hackers now likely have your:
- license number,
- home address,
- social security number,
- birth date, height,
- eye color,
- and registration information.
In short, all the personal information that a criminal would need to steal your identity.
Putting aside your frustrations with the breach, your immediate focus should be on how to protect yourself and your family from this massive data breach.
Below are a number of recommendations that professionals in the field have given to protect yourself in the wake of this breach.
- First, you should immediately change your passwords. Criminals can often use your personal data to reset sites with weaker security and gain access to your passwords. This is also a good time to make sure that you are using different passwords for each site and that the passwords are “strong”. It may also be a good time to investigate password managers to make this task easier.
- You should also enable two-factor authentication if you have not already. This means that when you go to sign in, you will need to enter a secondary code that it often sent to your phone or other device. This is important as it will prevent hackers from accessing even if they do get your password and prevent them from simply resetting your password.
You should closely monitor your accounts and credit reports. Keep a close eye on all your accounts for suspicious activity or charges that you do not recognize. Catching them early is key to minimizing the damage from identity theft. You should also be monitoring your credit reports, which you can access for free annually. If you are especially concerned, you can consider freezing your credit.
- Finally, you can consider paying for identity theft monitoring for added protection. It is unclear if the State of Louisiana or Moveit will be offering any type of coverage for these services as other companies have done in the past. However, the investment in peace of mind may well be worth it for a lot of folks. You can also go to IdentityTheft.gov which provides a number of helpful tips and pieces of advice for dealing with identity theft.