NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The personal information of 945 students, both past, and present, was compromised as a result of a thief stealing the laptop of a Niskayuna school psychologist.
The school psychologist had been on vacation in Virginia over the school’s spring break period and their car was broken into and the laptop was taken.
The window of the car was smashed and a bag containing the laptop and five individual student paper reports was stolen.
It is deemed low risk by the school district, in the sense that it did not compromise social security numbers or other significant personal information. However, names, date of birth and addresses were on the computer for over 600 current students and 300 former students.
The device was password protected and the school indicated that they have received no evidence that the information on the computer or additional information was discovered and used.
The district sent letters to the families whose information was on the computer, as they are still taking the matter seriously despite the risk level.
In a statement, Niskayuna Central School District responded to the letter sent to families and further protocol:
“In this letter, the district outlined precautions that parents can take to monitor the credit reports for their children for identity theft or fraud. However, the district also told families that it believes the risk is very low in this case, based on what it has learned from CyberScout.”
“The district is reviewing its data security practices and systems. Extensive protocols and mechanisms are in place for the data that exists on district systems. Officials are exploring policies and practices that would enhance security related to individual computers and file storage.”
Superintendent, Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. provided his own comment on the situation:
“We regret this unfortunate situation,” Tangorra said. “While there is no information to suggest that any individual information was targeted or misused, we are taking all the precautions we can and providing families with informational resources. We take our responsibility to protect student information very seriously, and will make any improvements in this area that we can.”
Niskayuna Central School District will provide more information to the families concerned and the public at-large as necessary going forward.