Data breach at the Postal Service


At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

The U.S. Postal Service has been breached.

The agency disclosed Monday that a cyber-attack on its information systems compromised data from customers who contacted the Postal Service Customer Care Center by telephone or email between Jan. 1, 2014, and Aug. 16, 2014.

Hackers obtained names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and other personal information customers may have provided over the phone.

They also obtained personal information, including names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, beginning and end dates of employment and emergency contact information, on U.S. Postal Service employees.

The Postal Service is in the process of notifying affected employees. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the breach. Currently, there is no evidence that any customer credit card information from retail or online purchases has been affected.

“We have recently implemented additional security measures designed to improve the security of our information systems,” USPS spokesman David Partenheimer said in a written statement. “We know this caused inconvenience to some of our customers and partners, and we apologize for any disruption.”

The Postal Service says that it does not believe, at this time, potentially affected customers need to take any action as a result of the incident. However, it never hurts to be proactive.

As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs regarding breaches, consumers worried that their information was compromised can change the password associated with their email address as well as other accounts that use the same one, just to be safe.

A strong password contains, among other things, at least eight characters, one number, symbol and lowercase and uppercase letter and, even intentionally misspelled words.

You can also place a fraud alert on your credit report with all three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion), since mysterious line items are a good sign that identity theft is occurring.

Are you worried about the U.S. Postal Service breach? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow me on Twitter: @JeanineSko.