I was at a party with friends over the Thanksgiving weekend, a number of whom work for the government, either as federal employees or contractors. All of them were well aware of the breach of Office of Personnel Management networks announced earlier this year but none were sure whether their personal information had been compromised.

OPM is still sending out letters informing people their data has been stolen but those who aren't sure whether they're part of the 21.5 million compromised records can take advantage of a new verification center.

Users can access the verification center online or by phone at 866-408-4555 (international: 503-520-4453).

Resource: Verification Center Online Portal

While the verification portal is up and running, Cobert urged people to wait until mid-December for the final letters to be sent so as not to overwhelm the center unnecessarily. The agency is sending out more than 800,000 letters a day and expects to mail the last by the second week of December.

Those who submit a request should receive a letter within two to four weeks informing them of their status.

Affected persons can also contact the center if they received a letter and subsequently lost their PIN code.

Aaron Boyd is an awarding-winning journalist currently serving as editor of Federal Times — a Washington, D.C. institution covering federal workforce and contracting for more than 50 years — and Fifth Domain — a news and information hub focused on cybersecurity and cyberwar from a civilian, military and international perspective.

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