WASHINGTON – After a massive data breach at the University of Maryland exposed more than 309,000 Social Security numbers, university officials are providing guidance about what people should do to protect themselves.
Brian Voss, vice president of the Division of Information Technology, says in a statement that the leaked records included names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and university identification numbers for all faculty, staff, and students who possessed a university ID since 1998.
Starting on Feb. 25, those individuals should contact Experian directly to find out if their records have been compromised. Experian can be reached at 1-866-274-3891 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on the weekends from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If Experian confirms an individual’s identity has been compromised, those affected can sign up for a year of free credit monitoring through Experian.
“What that will get you is a free copy of your Experian credit report and alerts of any key changes or suspicious activity found on your credit report. There will be some identity theft resolution where they investigate each incident,” says University of Maryland Chief Communication Officer Crystal Brown.
That service must be activated by May 31. After the membership has expired, the university will then offer additional credit monitoring. It’s not clear how much this will cost the university.
Prospective students who applied to the university for the fall are not affected.
Voss says the breach is still under investigation and the university is partnering with the U.S. Secret Service and MITRE, a systems engineering company, to determine how it happened.