On August 18, 2022, Newcourse Communications, Inc. reported a data breach to multiple district attorney’s offices after the company’s computer systems were hacked. According to Newcourse, the breach resulted in certain people’s names and social security numbers being compromised. After the breach was confirmed and all affected parties identified, Newcourse Communications began sending out breach letters to all affected parties.
If you’ve received a data breach notification, it’s important that you understand what is at risk and what you can do about it. To learn more about how to protect yourself from being a victim of fraud or identity theft, and what your legal options are following the Newcourse Communications data breach, please see our recent article on the subject here.
What we know about the data breach at Newcourse Communications
Information about Newcourse Communications, Inc.’s data breach came, among other things, from the company’s official filings with the Attorneys’ Offices in Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts. According to these sources, Newcourse Communications recently learned that the company was the target of a cyber attack. This allowed the unauthorized party that orchestrated the attack 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 outside 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.
When Newcourse Communications determined that sensitive consumer data was being accessed by an unauthorized person, Newcourse Communications began reviewing all affected files to determine which information was compromised and which consumers were affected by the incident. Newcourse completed its review of the compromised data on August 5, 2022. Although the information breached varies from person to person, it may include your name and social security number.
On August 18, 2022, Newcourse Communications sent out data breach letters to anyone whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident. The company estimates that the latest breach has impacted the personal information of 47,979 people.
Learn more about Newcourse Communications, Inc.
Founded in 2005, Newcourse Communications, Inc. is a full-service computing, printing and mailing provider based in Nashville, Tennessee. The company specializes in custom assignments for the mortgage, automotive, credit union and banking industries by providing custom programming, creative services and production solutions to clients working on various maintenance software systems such as BKFS, FICS, Megasys and internal platforms. Newcourse Communications employs more than 32 people and has annual revenues of approximately $6 million.
What should you do if you receive a data breach notification from Newcourse Communications?
When Newcourse Communications sends you a data breach notification letter, you are among the individuals whose information was compromised in the recent data breach. While this is not a time to panic, it is important that you take the situation as seriously as it deserves. Leaking your sensitive information in a data breach greatly increases the risk of identity theft and other fraud. However, there are steps you can take to reduce these risks. Here are some important steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft and other fraudulent activity after 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. In the letter you will find out which of your information was accessible to the unauthorized person and whether there have been reports of abuse. Be sure to make a copy of the letter and keep it for your records. If you’re having trouble understanding the letter or what steps you can take to protect yourself, a data breach attorney can help.
Limit future access to your accounts: Once you determine what information was affected by the breach, you should assume that the hackers who orchestrated the attack stole your information. 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 all online accounts. This includes online banking accounts, credit card accounts, online shopping accounts and any other accounts that contain your personal information. You should also consider changing your social media account passwords and setting up multi-factor authentication where available.
Protect your credit and financial accounts: After a data breach, companies typically offer victims free credit monitoring services for a period of time — typically 12 or 24 months. These services otherwise cost about $30 per month. Signing up for the free credit monitor provides significant protection and does not affect your rights to bring a claim against the company for data breach if they are found to be 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 don’t see any signs of fraud or unauthorized activity. Adding a fraud alert to your account gives you extra protection.
Consider a credit freeze: A credit hold prevents anyone from accessing your credit report without your express permission. Credit blocks are free and remain in effect until you remove them. Once a credit freeze is in effect, you can temporarily remove the freeze if you need to apply for a loan. While freezing your accounts may seem like a hassle, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (“ITRC”), freezing your account is the “most effective way to prevent a new credit/financial account from being opened.” However only 3% of data breach victims lock their accounts.
Continue to monitor your credit report and financial accounts: Protecting yourself after a data breach requires constant effort. You should regularly review your credit report and all bank statements for signs of unauthorized activity or fraud. You should also call your banks and credit card companies to report the fact that your information has been compromised through a data breach.