College Laptop Theft Affects 20,000Unencrypted Computer Contained Student, Faculty Information
Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College in South Carolina is notifying 20,000 former and current students and faculty members that an unencrypted laptop computer stolen this month from a staff member's office contained their personal information.
Information stored on the unencrypted computer included the names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of the individuals, according to a statement about the breach from the college, which has also notified local law enforcement. "The data was not stored in an easily recognizable format, and the college has no indication that any of this data was accessed or used in any way," according to the statement.
The information on the laptop dated back six or seven years, says Walter A. Tobin, college president. The college believes the thief was after the hardware, not the personal information it contained, he adds.
The individual whose computer was stolen is associated with institutional research, according to Tobin. He also says that so far, there has been no evidence that the information on the laptop has been used inappropriately or to commit fraud.
"We are evaluating our security controls to prevent further incidents," according to the college's statement. For example, the college will be installing encryption software on all its computers, Tobin confirms.
Tobin declined to say whether the college was consdiering offering free credit monitoring to those affected by the incident.