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Security & privacy

Medical data breach exposes personal info – see the list of providers

We’re always hearing about data stolen by hackers. Companies are supposed to do everything they can to safeguard your personal information, but criminals are savvy and find new ways to get in.

Fallout from a data breach can be long-lasting and incredibly damaging. All it takes is a stolen Social Security number or credit card information to destroy your finances and help crooks steal your identity. Cleaning up that kind of mess can be tough. Just ask the victims of the massive Equifax data breach for proof.

As you may have guessed, yet another widespread data breach occurred recently. This exposed personal information of eye care patients across the nation and repercussions for consumers could be severe. Let’s take a look at what happened, what was accessed and what to do if your information was compromised.

Data breach puts patients at risk

Have you ever been a patient of a LensCrafters or EyeMed store? Well, you’re going to want to take note. Your personal and health information could be in the wrong hands.

RELATED: Travel site breach exposes millions of credit card details

According to Luxottica, a recent data breach exposed the personal and protected health information of a slew of eye care customers. Luxottica owns several popular optical and eye care clinic chains, including LensCrafters, Target Optical, and EyeMed — which means this data breach is a doozy.

The data breach occurred when a Luxottica-managed appointment scheduling app was hacked on Aug. 5. Luxottica discovered the breach a few days later and started an investigation.

During the attack, hackers gained access to a ton of data. This included full patient names, contact information, appointment dates and times, health insurance policy numbers, and doctor or appointment notes that may indicate information related to eye care treatment, such as prescriptions, health conditions or procedures.

A data breach that results in leaked health and medical information is bad enough, but that isn’t the only information hackers accessed. Some patient credit card and Social Security numbers were also exposed.

Luxottica claims that it’s not aware of any misuse of personal information or harm to patients due to the data breach. However, this type of breach often results in serious issues with identity theft or fraud, especially if your credit card information or Social Security number was exposed.

It’s unclear how many accounts were accessed during this incident, but Luxottica has begun to mail notices to affected customers. Press releases will also be published on local newspaper websites to alert patients of the data breach.

“We recommend that all potentially impacted individuals take steps to protect themselves, for example by closely monitoring notices from your health insurer and health care providers for unexpected activity. If your payment card information and/or Social Security number were involved in this incident, this is explicitly stated in your letter,” the data breach website states.

You don’t have to wait for a letter to determine if you’re affected by this breach. If you want more information, you can call 877-540-1431 or 1-629-221-3530 to inquire. These lines are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST, or Saturday and Sunday between 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. CST. You can also visit the Luxottica security incident notice page for more info.

What to do if you’re affected

Worried about how this could affect you? Luxottica offers a free two-year identity monitoring service through Kroll for patients who had their payment information and SSNs exposed.

Also, keep a close eye on your credit reports to make sure no new accounts pop up. Watch your financial records, including bank statements and debit charges. Note anything that looks suspicious and immediately contact your financial institution if you find something.

You may also want to perform a credit freeze that locks your credit reports from financial institutions during the application process. This will help to prevent any new financial accounts from being opened in your name. Tap or click here to see how to set up a credit freeze.

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