How to protect yourself after Quest Diagnostics data breach

Living in the digital age means that cyber hacks and data breaches have become an expected daily occurrence.

Quest Diagnostics is the most recent high-profile casualty, announcing Monday that it was hit with a massive data breach impacting nearly 12 million patients. The U.S. clinical laboratory said patients' personal information, Social Security numbers and credit card information may have been compromised after malicious activity was found on the payment pages of American Medical Collection Agency, a third-party vendor.

CyberScout founder Adam Levin has some tips on protecting your information after news of another data breach. He recommends adopting what he calls the "three Ms": minimize your risk of exposure, monitor effectively and manage the damage.

In a case like Quest Diagnostics, Levin's first course of action is to set up fraud alerts by contacting one of the credit protection agencies. Second, he suggests people seriously consider freezing their credit card so no one else has access to their credit for purposes of opening accounts under their name.

Another tip Levin recommends is checking your credit report regularly to avoid any surprises on your score.

“You should be tracking your credit scores in the event they take a sudden precipitous drop you can’t explain,” Levin told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on Tuesday.

He also recommends signing up for transactional monitoring alerts which are provided free of charge by financial institutions to notify you any time there’s activity in your account.


When it comes to health-related information, Levin said individuals should read the explanation of benefits statement from health insurers to confirm that they are the person who was examined by a health professional.

“A lot of people don’t understand that many insurance organizations, financial services organizations, even employers today have a program to help you through and identify the incident,” he said.

Quest Diagnostics serves about half of the physicians and hospitals in the U.S.