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Posted On February 28, 2022 Consumer Privacy & Data Breaches

Data Breach Alert: St. Augustine College

NOTICE: If you received a NOTICE OF DATA BREACH letter from St. Augustine College, contact the attorneys at Console & Associates at (866) 778-5500 to discuss your legal options, or submit a confidential Case Evaluation form here.

 

Data Breach AlertFebruary 28, 2022 – Recently, St. Augustine College announced a data security incident compromising the names and Social Security numbers of certain individuals. Those impacted by a data breach should be sure they understand what happened, what their rights are, and how they can pursue them. The data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. are actively investigating this security breach. As a part of the investigative process, our attorneys will be interviewing any victims of the breach to determine what harm was caused and whether they are eligible to bring a data breach class action lawsuit against St. Augustine College.

What We Know So Far About the St. Augustine College Breach

According to an official filing by the college’s lawyers, on August 7, 2021, St. Augustine College detected suspicious activity on its computer system. In response, the school launched an internal investigation to learn more about the nature and scope of the incident. The investigation revealed that an unauthorized user may have accessed or obtained certain files from St. Augustine College’s servers.

Upon confirming that a data breach occurred, St. Augustine College then reviewed the affected files to determine what information was compromised. On February 1, 2022, St. Augustine College confirmed that the names and Social Security numbers of affected parties were accessible to and many have been accessed by the unauthorized party. The St. Augustine data breach is believed to have impacted as many as 13,263 individuals.

On February 24, St. Augustine College began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals whose information was contained in the affected files.

St. Augustine College (“St. Augustine”) is a private college with five locations in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1980, St. Augustine was Illinois’ first bilingual institution for higher learning. The school offers 19 different degrees through its School of STEAM, School of Education, and School of Healthcare and Social Science. St. Augustine College’s student body is made up of approximately 1,000 students.

Can Consumers Whose Data Was Leaked Pursue Legal Action Against an Organization?

When you allowed St. Augustine access to your personal data, you trusted the school to keep your sensitive information safe. However, news of the St. Augustine data breach raises some very serious questions about the school’s data security measures and whether it could have done more to prevent this type of cyber-attack.

Regardless of the industry, all businesses have a legal obligation to protect consumer information in their possession. Although creating and maintaining a data security system is costly, this is a necessary expense given the frequency with which cyberattacks occur.

Consumers whose personal, identifying, financial or healthcare-related data was compromised in a data breach can pursue legal action against an organization that misused or mishandled their information. However, the investigation into the St. Augustine College breach is only in its beginning phases. For that reason, it is too early to tell if St. Augustine was legally responsible for the breach. However, our data breach attorneys are investigating the St. Augustine College security breach to determine the potential legal remedies of those affected.

If you have questions about your ability to pursue a data breach class action lawsuit against St. Augustine, contact a data breach attorney as soon as possible.

What to Do If You Received a Data Breach Notification from St. Augustine

If you receive a data breach notification from St. Augustine in the coming weeks, it means your personal data was among that which was compromised in the recent cyberattack. It also means a cybercriminal may have had access to—and may have stolen—your personal data. Given the risks involved, it is important you remain vigilant by taking the following steps:

  1. Figure Out What Information Was Stolen: Carefully review the data breach letter sent by St. Augustine, keeping in mind the information you provided to the school as well as the type of data that was compromised in the breach. You should also take a copy of the data breach letter and keep it for your records. Of course, data breach letters are not always easy to understand. A consumer privacy lawyer can help victims of a data breach understand what was compromised and how to protect themselves.
  2. Prevent the Hacker from Accessing Your Accounts: Once you determine the scope of the breach and how it affected you, you should take all steps to prevent cybercriminals from accessing your credit or financial accounts. For example, you should change all passwords and security questions for your online accounts. You should also consider setting up multi-factor authentication where it is available.
  3. Protect Your Credit and Your Financial Accounts: In the wake of a data breach, companies usually provide free credit monitoring services for a specified period of time. This is not a gimmick, and you do not give up any rights by taking an organization up on their offer. Additionally, you should contact one of the three main credit bureaus to request a copy of your credit report. Even if you do not notice any signs of fraud or unauthorized activity, it is a good idea to request a fraud alert. Fraud alerts are free and serve as a red flag to potential lenders and creditors that your information was compromised.
  4. Consider a Credit Freeze: A credit freeze prevents access to your credit report unless you specifically authorize it. Credit freezes are free and last until you remove them. While placing a credit freeze on your accounts may initially seem like a drastic measure, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (“ITRC”), doing so is the “single most effective way to prevent a new credit/financial account from being opened.” However, ITRC reports that just 3% of consumers whose information is leaked place a freeze on their accounts. Once a credit freeze is in place, you can temporarily lift the freeze if you need to apply for any type of credit.
  5. Regularly Monitor Your Credit Report and Financial Accounts: Protecting yourself in the wake of a data breach is not a one-time task. You should continually monitor your credit report and all financial accounts, keeping an eye out for any signs of unauthorized activity or fraud. You may also consider calling your banks and credit card companies to report the fact that your information was compromised in a data breach.

If You Have Questions About Your Rights Following the St. Augustine College Data Breach, Console & Associates, P.C. Can Help

At Console & Associates, P.C., our consumer privacy lawyers monitor all security and data breaches to help affected consumers pursue their legal remedies. We offer free consultations to victims of data breaches and can explain your rights in clear, understandable terms so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case. If you’ve been affected by the St. Augustine data breach or any other data security incident, Console & Associates, P.C., will investigate your case at no charge and offer you thorough advice about how to most effectively proceed with your case. If you decide to bring a case, we only get paid if you do. If your claim is successful, any legal fees are either paid by the defendant or come out of the funds recovered from the defendant. If your claim doesn’t result in a recovery, you will pay nothing.

To schedule your free consultation, just call (866) 778-5500 today or fill out our secure contact form.

 

NOTICE: If you received a NOTICE OF DATA BREACH letter from St. Augustine College, contact the attorneys at Console & Associates at (866) 778-5500 to discuss your legal options, or submit a confidential Case Evaluation form here.