Smith College Data Breach

By
Will Gendron
Mar 12, 2024 3:08 PM
The Smith College data breach, discovered on February 8, 2024, potentially exposed sensitive personal information, including names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and financial account numbers. The college is offering credit monitoring services and advises affected individuals to place fraud alerts and security freezes on their credit files, regularly review financial statements, and report any suspicious activity.

Understanding the Smith College Data Breach

Smith College, a prestigious liberal arts college for women, has recently experienced a data breach that may have compromised sensitive personal information. This breach was discovered on February 8, 2024, and it appears that an unauthorized party potentially accessed and/or viewed certain data between January 5, 2024, and January 7, 2024.

The types of consumer information exposed in this incident include names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and financial account numbers. While there is currently no evidence that this information has been misused, Smith College is taking the incident seriously and has already begun taking steps to secure their systems and prevent future breaches.

Smith College has disclosed the breach to the Massachusetts Attorney General's office, and the full Notice to Consumers can be found on the Massachusetts Attorney General's website.

Immediate Steps for Potentially Affected Individuals

If you believe your information may have been affected by this breach, it's crucial to act promptly to protect yourself from potential identity theft or fraud.

  1. Credit Monitoring: Smith College is offering a complimentary 24-month membership of Experian IdentityWorksSM to help monitor your credit for signs of fraudulent activity. To enroll, visit the Experian IdentityWorks website and use the provided Activation Code before June 2, 2024. This service will not impact your credit score.
  1. Fraud Alerts: Placing a fraud alert on your credit files is a good idea. This tells creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts in your name. You can place a fraud alert by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.
  1. Security Freezes: For additional protection, consider placing a security freeze on your credit files, which prevents credit bureaus from releasing your credit report without your permission. This can be done by contacting the credit bureaus directly.
  1. Free Credit Reports: You are entitled to one free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major nationwide credit reporting companies. Review these reports for any discrepancies or unauthorized activity by requesting your reports at AnnualCreditReport.com.
  1. Stay Vigilant: Regularly review your financial account statements and credit reports for any unauthorized or irregular activity.

Additional Resources and Contacts

  • For questions about the incident or the services provided, you can reach out to Smith College directly through the contact information provided in their notice.
  • If you suspect identity theft or fraud, file a police report with your local law enforcement agency.
  • You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/idtheft or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338).

Smith College's Commitment to Security

Smith College apologizes for the incident and is committed to maintaining the privacy of personal information. The college has taken many precautions to safeguard it and continues to evaluate and modify practices to enhance the security and privacy of personal information.

For more information about Smith College, you can visit their official website.

By taking the steps outlined above, you can help protect your personal information and mitigate the risk of identity theft. Remember, staying informed and proactive is the best defense against the potential repercussions of a data breach.

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Consumer Notice

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