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Breach of Information Notice


Breach of Information Notice

(Anchorage, AK) — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services recently had a security incident that may have resulted in the disclosure of personal information regarding individuals who are served by or do business with the department.

On Oct. 12, 2009, two media devices were stolen from a department employee. It is unknown whether the devices held any personal information or what that information could include. Due to the possibility that personal information may have been held on either of the devices, the department is notifying Alaskans so that individuals can be aware and take actions to protect themselves from identity theft or harm.

The department is reviewing the breach to help determine what information may have been on the stolen device. The department plans to send a written notice to Alaskans who receive services as a precaution. The notice will recommend actions that Alaskans can take to protect their identity, such as placing a fraud alert on their credit report.

The department is also securing all current software applications by changing passwords and updating the security to ensure that no stolen employee information may be used to compromise these applications.

To prevent further breaches, DHSS has adopted the Department of Administration, Enterprise Technology Services standard security product, Guardian Edge, which will protect information stored on portable devices. DHSS has moved up its original timeline to deploy the solution to all devices used by information technology staff.

The department has established a toll-free number for Alaskans to call for further information as the investigation proceeds. The toll-free number is 1-866-643-6001.

For more information about how you can protect yourself, please review the following information "Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft" at http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html.

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