CSCC Takes Security Measures

December 18, 2013

CLEVELAND, TN. – Cleveland State faculty, staff and students were notified today that an employee from a contractor that was hired to install a new fire alarm and mass notification  system has been arrested for a theft that occurred on campus. Due to the nature of the contractor’s work, he had broad access to the campus and could have had access to personal data. However, electronic data systems were not accessed or compromised.

Although campus officials do not have direct evidence that personally identifiable information was taken, they felt it best to notify all faculty, staff and students as a safety precaution.

Dr. Carl Hite, Cleveland State President, said, “We want to make sure everyone is fully informed and want to err on the side of caution. Although we do not feel that any information has been compromised, we want to be completely transparent on this issue in an effort to protect everyone.”

Cleveland State Community College will continually review processes in order to maintain personally identifiable information in a secure environment. College officials recommend everyone place a “fraud alert” on their credit files with the three major credit bureaus which are as follows:

This alert is a free service that will request creditors to verify an individual’s identity before opening a new account. The college created this web page to make people aware of the situation and provide information about protecting private information. In addition, anyone who may be affected is eligible to receive one year of free credit protection by contacting Cleveland State Community College at (423) 472-7141.

“We are taking this very seriously at the college, stated Hite. “We regret this has happened and will work with anyone who might have been affected to help them in any way we can.”

DATA SECURITY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

What happened?

An employee from a contractor that was hired to install a new fire alarm and mass notification  system has been arrested for a theft that occurred on campus. Due to the nature of the contractor’s work, he had broad access to the campus and could have had access to personal data. However, electronic data systems were not accessed or compromised.

Is my information at risk?

Odds are no, but the college decided to notify every student on the vulnerable lists to err on the side of caution.

How will I know?

If you are receiving this information, you should consider protecting yourself as outlined on the Federal Trade Commission web site at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/idtheft/idt04.shtm#CRContact

How did Cleveland State respond to the problem?

The college notified all faculty, staff and students of the problem and outlined steps to help prevent possible fraud.  Anyone affected is eligible to receive one year of free credit protection by contacting CSCC at (423) 472-7141.

What is the college doing to help protect the students?

The college responded as outlined above.  Students were advised about how they could protect themselves.  Information about contacting credit reporting agencies and creating fraud alert systems was made available on the college’s web site, where a link to the Federal Trade Commission site includes detailed instructions on what to do to avoid identity theft and fraud. 
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/idtheft/idt04.shtm#CRContact

Will the college make sure it doesn’t happen again?

Yes. Cleveland State is implementing several measures that should keep a problem like this from recurring.

What can I do if I’m concerned about protecting my personal information?

The Federal Trade Commission recommends that you call the toll-free fraud number of any of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies and place an initial fraud alert on your credit reports.  An alert can help stop someone from opening new credit account in your name. 

  • Equifax
    1-800-525-6285
    P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
  • Experian
    1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
    http://www.experian.com
    P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
  • TransUnion
    1-800-680-7289
    http://www.transunion.com
    Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, GA 92834-6790

You are entitled to order free copies of your credit reports, and, if you ask, only the last four digits of your SSN will appear on your credit reports.  Once you get your credit reports, review them carefully.  Look for inquiries from companies you haven’t contacted, accounts you didn’t open, and debts on your accounts that you can’t explain.  Check that information, like your SSN, address(es), name or initials, and employers are correct.  If you find fraudulent or inaccurate information, get it removed.  For more details about protecting your identity, visit the Federal Trade Commission website at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/idtheft/idt04.shtm#CRContact

Once you’ve taken these precautions, watch for signs that your information is being misused.  If your information has been misused, file a report about the theft with the police immediately, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, and notify the CSCC Business Office immediately.

For more information, contact (423) 472-7141