On August 18, 2022, Newcourse Communications, Inc. reported a data breach with several state attorney generals’ offices after the company’s computer systems were hacked. According to the Newcourse, the breach resulted in the names and Social Security numbers of certain individuals being compromised. After confirming the breach and identifying all affected parties, Newcourse Communications 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 Newcourse Communications data breach, please see our recent piece on the topic here.
What We Know About the Newcourse Communications Data Breach
The information about the Newcourse Communications, Inc. data breach comes from the company’s official filing with the Attorney General's Offices in Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts, among others. According to these sources, Newcourse Communications recently learned that the company was the target of a cyberattack. As a result, the unauthorized party orchestrating the attack was able to gain access to the company’s computer network.
In response, Newcourse took the necessary steps to secure its network and then began working with third-party data security specialists to determine the nature and extent of the breach. This investigation confirmed that an unauthorized party had access to the Newcourse system between April 27, 2022 and May 3, 2022.
Upon discovering that sensitive consumer data was accessible to an unauthorized party, Newcourse Communications began the process of reviewing all affected files to determine what information was compromised and which consumers were impacted by the incident. Newcourse completed its review of the compromised data on August 5, 2022. While the breached information varies depending on the individual, it may include your name and Social Security number.
On August 18, 2022, Newcourse Communications sent out data breach letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident. The company estimates that the recent breach impacted the personal information of 47,979 people.
More Information About Newcourse Communications, Inc.
Founded in 2005, Newcourse Communications, Inc. is a full-service data-processing, print-&-mail provider located in Nashville, Tennessee. The company specializes in custom jobs for the mortgage, automobile, credit union and banking industries by delivering custom programming, creative services and production solutions for clients who are on various servicing software systems, including BKFS, FICS, Megasys, and in-house platforms. Newcourse Communications employs more than 32 people and generates approximately $6 million in annual revenue.
What Should You Do if You Receive a Newcourse Communications Data Breach Notification?
If Newcourse Communications sends you a data breach notification letter, you are among those whose information was compromised in the recent breach. While this isn’t a time to panic, it is important you give the situation the seriousness it deserves. Having your sensitive information leaked in a data breach significantly increases the risk of identity theft and other frauds. However, there are steps you can take to reduce these risks. Below are a few important steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft and other fraudulent activity in the wake of a data breach:
Identify What Information Was Compromised: The first thing to do after a data breach is to carefully review the data breach letter. The letter will tell you what information of yours was accessible to the unauthorized party and whether there have been reports of misuse. Be sure to make a copy of the letter and keep it for your records. If you have trouble understanding the letter or what steps you can take to protect yourself, a data breach lawyer can help.
Limit Future Access to Your Accounts: Once you determine what information was affected by the breach, you should assume that the hackers orchestrating the attack stole your data. While this may not be the case, it’s better to be safe than sorry. To prevent future access to your accounts, change all passwords and security questions for any online account. This includes online banking accounts, credit card accounts, online shopping accounts, and any other account containing your personal information. You should also consider changing your social media account passwords and setting up multi-factor authentication where it is available.
Protect Your Credit and Your Financial Accounts: After a data breach, companies typically provide victims with free credit monitoring services for a period of time—usually 12 or 24 months. These services otherwise cost about $30 a month. Signing up for the free credit monitoring provides significant protection and doesn’t impact any of your rights to pursue a data breach lawsuit against the company if it turns out they were legally responsible for the breach. You should also consider contacting one of the credit bureaus to request a copy of your credit report—even if you do not notice any signs of fraud or unauthorized activity. Adding a fraud alert to your account will provide you with additional protection.
Consider Placing a Credit Freeze: A credit freeze prevents anyone from accessing your credit report without your express consent. Credit freezes are free and stay in effect until you remove them. Once a credit freeze is in effect, you can temporarily lift the freeze if you need to apply for any type of credit. While placing a credit freeze on your accounts may seem like a hassle, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (“ITRC”), placing a credit freeze on your account is the “single most effective way to prevent a new credit/financial account from being opened.” However, just 3% of data breach victims place a freeze on their accounts.
Continue to Monitor Your Credit Report and Financial Accounts: Protecting yourself in the wake of a data breach requires an ongoing effort on your part. You should regularly check your credit report and all financial account statements, looking for any signs of unauthorized activity or fraud. You should also call your banks and credit card companies to report the fact that your information was compromised in a data breach.