Notre Dame Security Breach

January 8, 2007

By Stephanie Stang

Notre Dame employees recently received a letter in the mail that some of their personal information may have gotten into the wrong hands.

A University Director's laptop was stolen before Christmas. On January 2nd university employees received the letter notifying them of the crime. They were told they may want to monitor activities on personal accounts because the computer was storing Social Security numbers and salary information.

Although the letter may be shocking they are becoming more and more common from all kinds of organizations.

The letter Notre Dame employees received is required by law.

Its part of a new identity theft prevention law that went into effect last July.

Under the law an organization must notify any potential victims if their personal information is stolen.

"If there is a potential that there is breach and the person could be a victim of identity theft you must notify them of the possible breach and allow them to protect themselves from any further usage of their identity," says Sgt. Dominic Zultanski with the South Bend Police Department.

Zltanski says these "heads-up" letters serve as a reminder that everyone needs to check his or her credit yearly.

"Everybody should get a copy of your credit report once a year to make sure that all information is your own," he added.

In Notre Dame's case the letter points out that the laptop was stolen and was password protected.

Plus it also says the university has no reason to believe the information was used inappropriately.

Overall the letter gives people a heads-up so they can keep an eye on their personal accounts.

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