Teachers affected by data breach urged to protect information


Published: Monday, June 24, 2013 at 3:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 24, 2013 at 3:50 p.m.

The personal information of 47,000 Florida teachers was exposed on the Internet during a data transfer at Florida State University.

Facts

IF YOU THINK YOU’RE A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT

Call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338) or visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft. You also can call Alachua County Sheriff’s Office at 352-367-4000 and file a police report of identity theft.
To protect yourself from possible identity theft, call any major credit reporting agency and place a free fraud alert on your credit files.
Experian: 1-888-397-3742
Equifax: 1-888-766-0008
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289

The information was publicly accessible for 14 days, according to a release by the Florida Department of Education.

In late May, information on teachers participating in state prep programs was transferred between two servers at FSU’s Center for Interactive Media. FSU was contracted by the Department of Education to handle the transfer.

During the transfer, the teachers’ personal information was transferred to a new server, but security measures to ensure that only authorized people could access the data were not put in place.

According to the release, DOE learned about the security breach on June 11 and worked with FSU officials to close access to the data, clear cached files and run security checks.

An initial investigation showed that teachers’ personal information might have been accessed 23 times through Google, although DOE officials do not believe the information was used improperly.

The DOE will be contacting teachers whose information could have been misused.

Alachua County Public Schools spokeswoman Jackie Johnson said she hadn’t yet heard if anyone in the district had been contacted.

“We have to assume that some of those folks are here in Alachua County, but we don’t know for sure,” she said.

Teachers who believe their Social Security number or other personal information might have been misused may call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-ID-THEFT.

The DOE release states the cost of identity protection will be provided to anyone who was affected by the security breach.

Contact Erin Jester at 352-338-3166 or erin.jester@gainesville.com.

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