Education

Fresno State data breach affects at least 15,000 people

In a 2017 file photo, students cross in front of Madden Library at Fresno State on the first day of fall classes.
In a 2017 file photo, students cross in front of Madden Library at Fresno State on the first day of fall classes. ckohlruss@fresnobee.com

The theft of an external hard drive at Fresno State could expose the personal data of at least 15,000 people.

The hard drive was reported missing Jan. 12 and Fresno State officials said some of the files may have contained personal information, including names, addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers, driver's license numbers and full or last four digits of Social Security numbers.

Officials said the data could affect former student athletes, sports-camp attendees and Athletic Corporation employees. The vast majority of data files were from 2003 to 2014.

"To date, the university has not received any reports that any of the stolen information has been accessed or misused in any way and there is no reason to believe that the hard drive was stolen for the information it contained," campus officials said in a news release Tuesday.

Fresno State began notifying people affected by the data breach this week. A police investigation is ongoing.

“Though this appears to be an isolated incident, we take any data theft very seriously and will review campus policies to ensure we have best procedures in place when it comes to security of confidential and sensitive data.,” said Orlando Leon, chief information officer.

If you received a notice of the data breach, you are encouraged to review the letter and the steps outlined to check whether any suspicious activity has happened on your credit report. Free credit monitoring will be offered for one year for those whose Social Security information or driver's license was exposed.

For questions about the data breach, call the university at 877-646-7924. The call center is open Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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