On July 26, 2022, the DigiPen Institute of Technology reported a data breach after an unauthorized party gained access to files on the DigiPen network that contained sensitive consumer information. However, DigiPen has neither posted notice of the breach on its website nor has it publicly disclosed the data types compromised as a result of the breach. Thus, it remains to be seen what risks victims of the breach will face. However, after confirming the breach and identifying all affected parties, DigiPen Institute of Technology recently began sending out data breach letters to all affected parties.
If you received a data breach notification, it is essential you understand what is at risk and what you can do about it. To learn more about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft and what your legal options are in the wake of the DigiPen Institute of Technology data breach, please see our recent piece on the topic here.
What We Know About the DigiPen Institute of Technology Data Breach
Based on the limited information available, on May 1, 2022, DigiPen detected a data security incident after it experienced difficulties accessing its computer system. In response, DigiPen secured its systems, informed law enforcement, and worked with third-party cybersecurity professionals to investigate the incident.
On June 15, 2022, DigiPen learned that an unauthorized party accessed certain files and data stored on its servers. Upon discovering that sensitive consumer data was accessible to an unauthorized party, DigiPen Institute of Technology reviewed all affected files to determine what information was compromised and which consumers were impacted by the incident.
On July 26, 2022, DigiPen Institute of Technology sent out data breach letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.
More Information About DigiPen Institute of Technology
DigiPen Institute of Technology is a private, for-profit university based in Redmond, Washington, with secondary campuses in Singapore and Bilbao, Spain. DigiPen offers students the opportunity to obtain a bachelor's or master's degree in various programs, including computer science, animation, video game development, game design, sound design, and computer engineering. DigiPen currently has about 2,500 students, the vast majority of which are enrolled in the school’s undergraduate programs. DigiPen Institute of Technology employs more than 329 people and generates approximately $94 million in annual revenue.
How Can Victims of a Data Breach Protect Themselves from Identity Theft and Other Frauds?
The biggest risk in the wake of a data breach is a hacker using your personal information to steal your identity or selling your information to another person who intends to do the same. Unfortunately, there is very little you can do to prevent a data breach because once you give an organization your information, you are essentially trusting it to keep your information secure. However, there are steps you can take after a data breach to limit the chance a cybercriminal will use your information to steal your identity.
Figure Out What Data Was Compromised
The first step after a data breach is to review the letter sent by the organization that experienced the breach, identifying what information of yours was compromised. While the steps below apply to all breaches, there are certain additional steps you should take if a breach involves highly sensitive information like your Social Security number. This is because you can always close out your bank and credit card accounts, preventing a hacker from causing any further damages, but are stuck with your Social Security number, even if it makes it into the hands of a criminal.
Remain Vigilant in Checking Your Online Accounts
In most cases, hackers try to use any stolen information as quickly as possible. However, it may take some time for criminals to obtain other necessary bits of information before attempting to steal your identity. Thus, it is imperative that you diligently check your online bank and credit card accounts, as well as your credit report.
Sign Up for Free Credit Monitoring
Credit monitoring typically costs between $20 and $40 per month. However, in the wake of a data breach, companies usually offer victims free credit monitoring for a period of time. Taking a company up on its offer of free credit monitoring doesn’t impact your rights to bring a data breach lawsuit in the event the company’s negligence was a cause of the breach.
Consider a Fraud Alert or a Credit Freeze
By contacting any one of the three major credit bureaus, you can place a fraud alert or credit freeze on your credit accounts. A fraud alert notifies potential creditors that your information was recently leaked, putting them on notice that it may not be you who is applying for a new line of credit. A credit freeze prevents any company from pulling your credit without your advance approval. The Identity Theft Resource Center notes that placing a credit freeze on your credit account is the single best way to prevent fraud in the wake of a data breach.
Those who are interested in learning more about their options following a breach should reach out to an experienced data breach lawyer for immediate assistance.