NTID STOLEN LAPTOP




Follow RITNEWS on Twitter

200808/rit_web_orange.jpg

RIT recently discovered that personal information was on a laptop computer stolen from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf on August 25. The information included names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers.

NOTE: Letters were mailed to those affected. This information security alert does NOT affect the entire RIT community, but a specific population.

This includes about 12,700 individuals who have applied to enroll at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (dating back to 1968). Another 1,100 members of the RIT community have also been impacted. Again, people affected have been notified individually.

A toll-free hotline has been established at 1-866-624-8330. You will be able to call this number through a relay service. The hotline will be available from Tuesday, Sept. 2, through Friday, Sept. 26, and you may call from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Eastern Time) on weekdays, and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

View the ASL video message from Alan Hurwitz, President, National Technical Institute for the Deaf/Vice President and Dean, RIT.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What happened?
View the ASL video related to this question
A. RIT recently discovered that personal information was on a laptop computer stolen from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The information included names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers.

A toll-free hotline has been established at 1-866-624-8330. You will be able to call this number through a relay service. The hotline will be available from Tuesday, Sept. 2, through Friday, Sept. 26, and you may call from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Eastern Time) on weekdays, and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Q. How does this affect me?
View the ASL video related to this question
A. This includes about 12,700 individuals who have applied to enroll in the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (dating back to 1968). Another 1,100 members of the RIT community have also been impacted. Again, people affected have been notified individually. RIT generally recommends the following steps:

Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. The fraud alert requests creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. As soon as the credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will be automatically notified. Once the alert is placed, you may order a free copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus. See www.ftc.gov/idtheft for more information.

Equifax Credit Information Services Inc.
1-800-525-6285
TTY/TDD: 1-866-478-0030
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
www.alerts.equifax.com

Experian Information Solutions Inc.
1-888-397-3742
P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
www.experian.com

TransUnion
1-800-680-7289
fvad@transunion.com
Fraud Victim Assistance Division
P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
www.transunion.com

Continue to monitor your credit reports. If any fraudulent accounts are observed, immediately contact the credit company to initiate a fraud report.

If fraudulent activity is present, contact RIT Public Safety at (585) 475-2853 (Voice/TTY). Also contact local law enforcement to start an identity theft investigation.

Q. How could this happen?
View the ASL video related to this question
A. Like all organizations that store personal information, RIT is acutely aware of the need to secure sensitive data. All organizations are susceptible to criminal activity, however.

Q. Where was the information stored?
View the ASL video related to this question
A. The information was stored on a laptop computer used by an employee at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The laptop was stolen from an office.

Q. What was RIT’s response?
View the ASL video related to this question
A. RIT Public Safety immediately launched an investigation into the theft. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is also investigating.

Q. What is RIT doing to prevent this from happening in the future?
View the ASL video related to this question
A. RIT continuously reviews the technical controls as well as the business processes in place to protect sensitive data. These controls and processes are being analyzed.

Q. Who was affected?
View the ASL video related to this question
A. It impacts two sets of people:
1) People who applied for admission to NTID. This includes recent applicants and those who have applied since 1968. This includes about 12,700 individuals.
2) Another 1,100 members of the RIT community have also been impacted.

Again, people affected have been notified individually.

Q: I am not affiliated with NTID, so why was my personal information accessible?
View the ASL video related to this question
A. Your information was used as part of a sample pool for a control group in a study. It was meant for internal use only.

Q. What happened to the private information?
View the ASL video related to this question
A. We have no indication at this time that the information was accessed. We are notifying people for precautionary purposes.

Q. What type of information was potentially compromised?
View the ASL video related to this question
A. Names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers.

Q. What is identity theft?
View the ASL video related to this question
A. Identity theft is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personal information, such as a Social Security number or driver’s license numbers, in order to impersonate someone else. The information can be used to obtain credit, merchandise, and services in the name of the victim. It may also provide the thief with false credentials. In addition to running up debt, an imposter might provide false identification to police, creating a criminal record or leaving outstanding arrest warrants for the person whose identity has been stolen.

Q. Where can I go to learn more about identity theft?
View the ASL video related to this question
A. 1) Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.gov/idtheft
2) Privacy Rights Clearing House: www.privacyrights.org
3) National Foundation for Credit Counseling: www.nfcc.org

Q. How do I know if I am a victim of Identity theft?
View the ASL video related to this question
A. With the assistance of your financial institution and credit reporting agencies, you can monitor for unauthorized activity on your accounts.

Q. What is a fraud alert?
View the ASL video related to this question
A. A fraud alert is an alert that the three major credit reporting agencies attach to your credit file. When you, or someone else, attempts to open a credit account, the lender should contact you by telephone to verify that you want to open a new account. However, a creditor is not required by law to contact you if you have a fraud alert in place. Fraud alerts can legally be ignored by creditors. Once the alert is placed, you may order a free copy of your credit report from all three major credit reporting agencies.

Q. How much does a credit report cost?
A. There is no cost to you. Recent New York State legislation has provided for one free credit report per year. There is information about additional services on the credit bureau Web sites.

Q. How do I obtain a credit report?
View the ASL video related to this question
A. Contact one of the following agencies for assistance:

Equifax Credit Information Services Inc.
Credit Report
1-800-685-1111
www.equifax.com

Experian Information Solutions Inc.
1-888-397-3742
www.experian.com

TransUnion
Credit Report
1-877-322-8228
www.transunion.com

Q: Why did you have my information?
A: Your information was used as part of a sample pool for a control group study to improve instruction at NTID. These control group studies are meant for internal use only.

Q: How will you keep us up to date on the latest information?
A: This is on ongoing criminal investigation with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. We suggest you return to the RIT homepage (www.rit.edu) for updated information if it becomes available.

Q: Do I need a police report to initiate the fraud alert?
A: Credit reporting agencies initiate fraud alerts. Each agency may have a different requirement for doing these alerts. It is recommended that you consult with the appropriate credit reporting agency to determine their particular requirements.

Q: Why do I have to notify the credit bureaus? Why didn’t RIT/NTID do that on my behalf?
A: For your protection, we generally recommend that you contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. The credit bureaus will ask you for personal information for verification. They will not accept a blanket request from an organization like RIT/NTID.

Conclusion
View the ASL video related to the conclusion
RIT is committed to doing the right thing, and therefore immediately notified you of this incident. The primary purpose of our communication is to encourage you to immediately take action in an effort to prevent potential loss due to identity theft. Please refer to the Federal Trade Commission’s site, www.consumer.gov, for more information on steps you can take. This includes contacting of one of the three credit bureaus, obtaining and reviewing your credit report, and closely monitoring your bank account and credit card activity.

Changing bank accounts may not be necessary, but if you suspect there is risk or evidence of identity theft you should immediately contact your bank. Placing a fraud alert on your credit report is one of the most effective protections against such an event. Once an alert is placed, you may order a free copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus. If you wish to purchase additional services or change bank accounts, this would be at your own cost based on a level you deem appropriate.

Once again, we share the concern and frustration that this incident has caused for our community, which is why we established a hotline, launched a thorough investigation, and have issued notifications.

200808/rit_web_orange.jpg