From the district’s web site:
An unknown person has accessed confidential files that contained students’ and some former students’ personal identity information, including names, addresses and some Social Security numbers.
What Happened and When?
The investigation of how the breach occurred is ongoing, but at this time we suspect that the person used a district computer workstation to access the data without authorization. We believe that the breach occurred the week of June 4, 2012, but we did not learn of it until the weekend.
What Was Exposed?
The confidential files that were accessed are used to transfer data between our student information and student meal programs. They included identity information for all or most current 4J students including names, student ID numbers, addresses, dates of birth, and in some cases phone numbers, Social Security numbers, and/or students’ free or reduced-price school lunch status. A file containing similar information from 2007 also was accessed.
What Was Not Exposed?
The data did not include any academic or financial information, such as grades, test scores or credit card numbers.
What Is 4J Doing?
We sincerely regret the inconvenience this may have caused to our students and their families. We are directly contacting families of current and former students who may have been affected and informing them of the data breach and the steps they can take to protect their students’ financial accounts.
The district has notified police, initiated a thorough investigation of the security breach, and taken measures to further safeguard your student’s personal information.
Already we have:
- Changed passwords and increased password security
- Limited the student personal data shared in the school meal system
We are continuing to assess our information security systems to make certain that we have all appropriate measures in place to ensure students’ personal information is secure.
What Can You Do?
If your student’s Social Security number may have been exposed, there are specific steps you can take to protect your student from the possibility of identity theft or other misuse of personal information. The Federal Trade Commission suggests steps you can take to protect financial accounts, protect against fraud, monitor for fraudulent activity, and report suspected fraud — please see below.
If your student’s Social Security number and other personal identity information may have been exposed, we encourage you to take steps to monitor and protect your student’s financial accounts.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has provided specific steps people can take to protect themselves from the possibility of identity theft or other misuse of their personal information when there is a possibility that an unauthorized person has obtained their information.
Protect Against Fraud: If your student’s Social Security number has been exposed, the FTC recommends that you call one of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies to place a free 90-day fraud alert on your student’s credit reports—you only need to call one of the companies, which will alert the other two companies. This alert can help stop someone from opening new credit accounts in your student’s name.
Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
Call at any time, 24 hours a day, and phone prompts will guide you through the process to place an initial 90-day fraud alert on your account, free of charge. You may issue consecutive 90-day alerts, if you want to continue for longer.
Monitor For Fraudulent Activity: When you place this alert on your student’s credit report with one nationwide consumer reporting company, you’ll get information about ordering one free credit report from each of the companies. The FTC says it is prudent to wait about a month after your information may have been stolen before you order your report, since suspicious activity may not show up right away. Once you get your reports, review them for suspicious activity, such as inquiries from companies your student did not contact, accounts he or she did not open and account debits that you cannot explain. Check that the information—including your student’s Social Security number, address, name or initials, and employers—is correct.
Report Suspected Fraud: Finally, if you find any suspicious activity related to your student’s financial accounts or on his or her credit reports, call your local law enforcement agency immediately.
Learn More: For more information about how to prevent identity theft, please seehttp://www.ftc.gov/idtheft.