What is VA Doing to Help?
What is VA doing to protect my identity?
Through its Privacy Service and more than 400 Privacy Officers throughout the United States, VA works to ensure that the personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI) of Veterans and their beneficiaries are safeguarded. VA employees throughout the Department are highly trained in handling sensitive information. VA also employs a team of network security experts to monitor and safeguard its systems and databases.
If an incident ever occurs involving VA information, the Department offers free credit monitoring to Veterans and beneficiaries whose data is considered at risk after internal review. Credit monitoring detects if any unusual or unauthorized activity is taking place.
VA provides extensive, mandatory information security awareness training for all VA employees. All VA staff and contractors are required to take an annual training on Privacy and Information Security Awareness. VA offers extra training, information sessions, and events designed to raise awareness of information protection responsibilities and best practices.
Reducing the use of Social Security Numbers (SSNs)
VA has significantly reduced the unnecessary collection and use of SSNs as the Department’s primary identifier. SSNs were either removed completely or truncated to the last four digits on most VA correspondence, and SSNs no longer appear on any VA prescription labels, bottles, or mailing labels.
VA helps curtail unauthorized disclosure of PII through its Records Management program. The program manages the lifecycle of VA records, from creation, filing, and storing to disposal in accordance with all federal regulations to ensure that records containing sensitive data are handled properly and securely.