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West St. Francois County R-IV School District Provides Notice Of Data Privacy Incident


LEADWOOD, Mo., Sept. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The West St. Francois County R-IV School District (the “District”) provides notice of a recent incident that may have affected the security of information for current and former students and staff.  The confidentiality, privacy, and security of information in the District’s care is one of its highest priorities and the District takes this incident very seriously.  To date, the District has not received any reports of actual or attempted misuse of information related to this incident.

What Happened? The District became aware of unusual activity related to certain systems within the District’s network.  Upon learning of this information, the District began an investigation with the assistance of third-party forensic investigators.  The investigation determined that certain information contained on a District system may have been accessible to an unauthorized party between October 6, 2019 and November 20, 2019.  While the investigation did not determine that personal information had actually been accessed or acquired as a result of this incident, the District could not rule out the possibility of such activity. Therefore, the District began a thorough review of this system to determine whether sensitive information was present at the time of the potential unauthorized access. Through its investigation, the District determined that personal information relating to certain current and former students and staff was present within the impacted system.

What Information Was Involved? The investigation determined that the system contained the following types of information at the time of the incident: name, Social Security number, and state student identification numbers for certain students and staff.

What We Are Doing. The privacy and security of the information in the District’s care are among our highest priorities and the District have strict security measures in place to protect that information.   Upon learning of this incident, the District moved quickly to investigate and respond to this incident, assess the security of relevant District systems, and notify potentially affected individuals.  The District’s response included resetting relevant passwords, working with third-party investigators, reviewing the contents of the impacted system to determine whether they contained sensitive information, and reviewing internal systems to identify contact information for purposes of providing notice to potentially affected individuals.  As part of the District’s ongoing commitment to the security of information in its care, the District is reviewing and enhancing existing policies and procedures and conducting additional workforce training to reduce the likelihood of a similar future event.  The District also notified state regulators, as required.

For More Information.  The District understands that you may have questions about this incident that are not addressed in this letter. If you have additional questions, you may call the District at 573-562-7535.  You may also write to the District at 1124 Main Street, Leadwood, MO 63653 or obtain additional information on the District’s website at www.wcr4.org.

What You Can Do. The District encourages you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review your account statements, and to monitor your credit reports for suspicious activity. Under U.S. law you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. You may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of your credit report.

You have the right to place a “security freeze” on your credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your credit report without your express authorization. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a security freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a security freeze on your credit report. Should you wish to place a security freeze, please contact the major consumer reporting agencies listed below:

In order to request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:

  1. Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
  2. Social Security number;
  3. Date of birth;
  4. If you have moved in the past five (5) years, provide the addresses where you have lived over the prior five years;
  5. Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
  6. A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver’s license or ID card, military identification, etc.);
  7. If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft.

As an alternative to a security freeze, you have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on your file at no cost.  An initial fraud alert is a 1-year alert that is placed on a consumer’s credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer’s credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer’s identity before extending new credit. If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years.  Should you wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any one of the agencies listed below:

Additional Information

You can further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, security freezes, and the steps you can take to protect yourself by contacting the consumer reporting agencies, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General. 

The Federal Trade Commission can be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580, www.identitytheft.gov, 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. You can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above. You have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some proof that you have been a victim. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement and your state Attorney General. This notice has not been delayed by law enforcement.

SOURCE West St. Francois County R-IV School District



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