Hartnell Community College District Provides Notice of Data Security Incident - December 5, 2022

On October 2, 2022, Hartnell Community College District (“the College”) experienced a network disruption that impacted our ability to access certain College files and systems. The investigation included working with third-party specialists to determine the full nature and scope of the activity. The College’s investigation was able to determine that certain segments of the College’s network were accessed without authorization during the incident. Therefore, in an abundance of caution, we conducted a review of the contents of the potentially impacted network locations to determine the type of information contained therein and to whom the information related. 

On November 3, 2022, the investigation confirmed that a limited amount of information may have been accessed by the  unauthorized actors during this incident. Therefore, we immediately undertook a thorough review of College systems to identify potentially affected individuals and any information that may have been at-risk as a result of the incident. On December 5, 2022, we began to provide written notification to individuals with potentially impacted information. 

The types of information that could be potentially impacted varies by individual but includes first and last name and one or more of the following data elements: Social Security number, driver’s license/state ID number, student ID number, Social Security number, and/or medical information. 

In response to this incident, we changed account passwords and are implementing additional security measures. To obtain more information about this incident, individuals should contact the College’s dedicated assistance line at 877-511-0005, Monday through Friday (except U.S. holidays), from 8 am- 8 pm PST. Individuals may also write to the College at P.O. Box 179 Salinas, CA 93902.

In general, we encourage potentially impacted individuals to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud by reviewing credit reports/account statements and explanation of benefits forms for suspicious activity and to detect errors. Under U.S. law, individuals are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. 

Individuals have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on a credit file at no cost. If individuals are a victim of identity theft, they are entitled to an extended fraud alert lasting seven years. As an alternative to a fraud alert, they have the right to place a “credit freeze” on a credit report. The credit freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved without consent. Pursuant to federal law, individuals cannot be charged to place or lift a credit freeze on your credit report.  

Should individuals wish to place a fraud alert or credit freeze, please contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below: 

TransUnion                             Experian                                  Equifax

1-800-680-7289                         1-888-397-3742                         1-888-298-0045

transunion.com                         experian.com                            equifax.com

P.O. Box 2000                          P.O. Box 9554                          P.O. Box 105069

Chester, PA 19016                    Allen, TX 75013                       Atlanta, GA 30348   

Individuals can further educate themselves regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, credit freezes, and the steps to protect their personal information by contacting the credit reporting bureaus, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), or their state Attorney General. The FTC also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. The FTC may be reached at 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20580; www.identitytheft.gov; 

1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); and TTY: 1-866-653-4261. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement, your state Attorney General, and the FTC.