UT Investigates Theft of Personal Data

TOLEDO -- It's back-to-school time at the University of Toledo, but many students and faculty are concerned about a possible security breach.  The university's Compliant and Privacy Officer sent an e-mail to students on Friday, saying a laptop computer had been stolen from an office in the Student Recreation Center that contained some student and employee names and Social Security numbers.

"Although there is no indication this information was targeted in the theft, [and] we believe the risk is minimal, we are treating this matter very seriously.  The UT Police are currently investigating," said the e-mail from Lynn Hutt, UT's Compliance/Privacy Officer.  "We apologize to all those affected by this incident, and we are taking measures to minimize the possibility of future incidents."

"That kinda, makes me a little nervous," said Emily Harmon, a freshman at the university.  And she's not the only one worried.  "After I read it, I was kinda nervous because what if my information is on that laptop that was stolen?" asked Cassi Snoddy, another student.

Many students tell us they are already careful with their laptop and personal information.  "I always make sure my laptop is locked, because I have a lock for it and always make sure I know where it's at," said Snoddy.

UT student Kory Kesseling said the same.  "I'm just gonna recheck and make sure everything's there every time," said Kesseling.

The UT e-mail suggests that everyone can assist in securing personal information by locking doors to offices, using strong passwords to protect files, and putting sensitive data on university servers instead of storing it on a laptop's hard drive.  The e-mail also suggests ways to protect yourself from ID theft.

Count on News 11 to follow this story as it develops.

On the Web:
UT information on this incident: http://eitnetwork.utoledo.edu/information_privacy/
Federal Trade Commission's Web booklet on identity theft: www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/idtheftmini.htm

Posted by AEB