Montana State University Billings notifying students after laptop was stolen in November

Ugh. Another laptop was apparently stolen from an employee’s car. This one was from the education sector, but it contained some student health information and health insurance information. The incident was reported by Montana State University Billings to the Montana Attorney General’s Office on January 5, and letters are going out today to affected students. The number of students potentially affected was not indicated in the notification letter. Here is the text of the notification:

Montana State University Billings takes seriously the privacy and security of our students’ information. Regrettably, we are writing to inform you of an incident involving some of that information.

On November 11, 2017, we learned that items, including an athletic department laptop, were stolen that same day from an employee’s vehicle while traveling. We immediately contacted law enforcement and began an investigation to determine what information may have been contained on the laptop. Our investigation determined some of your information may have been contained on the laptop, including your name, health insurance information, date of birth, social security number and limited health information.

We have no indication that your information has been used in any way. However, out of an abundance of caution, we are offering you a complimentary one-year membership of Experian IdentityWorksSM Credit 3B. This product helps detect possible misuse of your personal information and provides you with identity protection services focused on immediate identification and resolution of identity theft. IdentityWorks Credit 3B is completely free to you and enrolling in this program will not hurt your credit score. For more information on identity theft prevention and IdentityWorks Credit 3B, including instructions on how to activate your complimentary one-year membership, please see the additional information provided in this letter. We also recommend you review the statements you receive from your health insurer. If you see charges for services that you did not receive, please contact your health insurer immediately.

We regret any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause you. To help prevent something like this from happening in the future, we are moving toward full encryption of laptops for employees who travel and reinforcing current policies regarding protecting university assets while traveling. Should you have any questions, please contact 1-866-313-7993, from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm Mountain Time, Monday through Friday.


Krista Montague
Athletic Director
Montana State University Billings

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