Theft Of Laptop Imperils School Employees' Data

May 15, 2008

By Pete DeLea

A BB&T Insurance laptop containing the personnel information of some Harrisonburg City Schools employees was stolen May 1, according to company officials.

The information came from employees enrolled in the system's dental plan, although the company does not know how many employees' information is on the computer.

The laptop, used by an outside sales representative to develop an insurance proposal for the school system, was stolen from a car in Ohio.

"It's a portion of the employees," said A.C. McGraw, BB&T's media relations manager, who added that several security methods are used for the laptops, including passwords. "The information contained names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and, in some cases, medical history."

McGraw said the company notified the school system by phone and followed up with a letter.

Mike Loso, assistant superintendent of city schools, said an e-mail was sent out notifying employees of the possible release of confidential information.

He said the district also sent out information on how to set up an initial fraud alert, which warns anyone attempting to get a credit file that someone might be a fraud victim.

McGraw said BB&T plans to contact the employees directly to inform them of steps they can take to protect their credit and identities. She said they will offer the employees a free yearlong membership to Equifax's Credit Watch, a service that monitors credit reports daily.

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