On June 27, 2016, Cleary University discovered we were the victim of a widespread computer security attack that may have exposed records containing personal information. We immediately “locked down” the affected records and began an investigation.
Through our investigation, it has become clear this was not a targeted attack on Cleary University, but rather, part of a global computer security attack involving organizations beyond higher education. Again, we have no indication that the attack accessed any data.
Our goal is to be transparent and to assist you with resources
While we believe it is unlikely that your information has and or will be misused because of this incident, we are offering to help you protect against potential identity theft. Cleary University has secured a complimentary one-year membership for Experian’s® ProtectMyID® Alert for affected individuals. This product helps detect possible misuse of your personal information and provides you with superior identity protection support focused on immediate identification and resolution of identity theft.
In efforts to notify all students, alumni, staff and faculty who were affected, the university:
- Sent notices by mail to known U.S. Postal addresses of all potentially affected individuals
- Sent emails to all email addresses connect to potentially affected individuals
- Set up the CLEARY.EDU/datasecurity web page to key information to assist
What can you do to protect your identity, financial accounts, and credit?
First, Cleary University wants to help protect those potentially at risk by offering a complimentary one-year membership of Experian’s® ProtectMyID® Alert. This product helps detect possible misuse of your personal information and provides you with superior identity protection support focused on immediate identification and resolution of identity theft. Email Cleary University if you have further questions about access.
The deadline to enroll in this service is October 31, 2016.
Second, under U.S. law, you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free 877-322-8228. You may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of your credit report. In addition to enrolling in the on free year of identity monitoring services, we encourage you to remain vigilant, review your account statements, and monitor your credit reports for suspicious or unauthorized activity. If you believe you are a victim of attempted or actual identify theft or fraud, we encourage you to take the following steps:
- Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
- File a police report and ask for a copy of your records.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
- File a complaint with your state Attorney General.
- Write down the name of anyone you talk to, what s/he told you, and the date of the conversation.
- Follow-up in writing with all contacts you have made about the ID theft on the phone or in person. Use certified mail, return receipt requested, for all correspondence regarding the theft.
- Keep copies of all correspondence or forms relation to the suspicious activity, identity theft, or fraud.
- Keep the originals of supporting documentation, such as police reports and letter to and from creditors; send copies only.
- Keep old files, even if you believe the problem is resolved
Third, at no charge, you can also have the three credit bureaus place a “fraud alert” on your file that alerts creditors to take additional steps to verify identify prior to granting credit in your name. Note, however, that because it instructs creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you, it may also delay your ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies your identity. Once one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert the others are notified to place fraud alerts on your file. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, or should you have any questions regarding your credit report, please contact any one of the agencies listed below. Information regarding security freezes is also available from these agencies:
Equifax Experian TransUnion
P.O. Box 105069 P.O. Box 2002 P.O. Box 6790
Atlanta, GA 30348 Allen, TX 75013 Fullerton, CA 92834
800-525-6285 888-397-3742 800-680-7289
Fourth, you may also obtain information on how to place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit file from your state attorney general. You may obtain your state attorney general’s contact information by contacting the local office of your state representative, and by visiting your state government website. For Michigan residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 517-373-1110 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, in addition to enrolling in the free one year of identity monitoring services we are offering and suggestions above, we encourage you to remain vigilant, review your account statements, and monitor your credit reports for suspicious or unauthorized activity.
You can further educate yourself on identity theft and the steps you can take to protect yourself, including placing a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit file, by contacting the Federal Trade Commission. The Federal Trade Commission can be reached at:
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338); TTY: 866-653-4261