Credit-monitoring service arranged

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Reynoldsburg City School District has made arrangements with a credit-monitoring service for the families affected by the theft of a laptop computer that contained the social security numbers of about 4,200 students.

The district will pay for the credit-monitoring service, Debix, to monitor the credit of the students whose personal information was stored on the laptop.

"They’ll keep an eye on any activity that might happen on the students’ credit and notify the parents of any problems," said Tricia Moore, coordinator of community outreach for Reynoldsburg Schools.

In a letter sent to parents Aug. 29, Superintendent Stephen Dackin said the Reynoldsburg Schools administration is working closely with police in hopes of recovering the data. He said he learned on Aug. 27 that student data had been saved on a laptop computer that an employee had reported stolen two days prior.

"No kindergartners or new enrollees since January 2008 would have been affected, because we quit collecting social security numbers at the beginning of the year," Moore said.

As part of the agreement with Debix, each family will be assigned a code it will be able to use to sign up for the services, Moore said. Families also may get an activation code by contacting Reynoldsburg Schools at 501-1020, Moore said.

According to a letter that will be sent to parents from Debix, the identity protection company will monitor the children’s information at all three credit bureaus, public records databases and the national utilities database.

If any fraudulent information is found, Debix will contact the parent and assist the parent in steps to recover the child’s identity.

The Debix On-Call Investigation Team, a team of licensed private investigators, will be available to assist parents any questions throughout the process as well.

According to the letter, additional benefits will include a $25,000 Identity Theft Insurance policy through AIG as well as credit restoration services through Debix Resolution Services. This service through Debix will be valid for one year from the date of enrollment and the enrollment deadline will be Dec. 15, 2008.

The district and Debix will be in communications with the parents soon to let them know the next step to take in setting up the account, Moore said.

Debix is the same service the state of Ohio used when in June 2007 someone broke into a car and stole data containing the personal information of thousands of state employees and Ohio residents.

Moore also said Reynoldsburg Schools is cooperating with an external investigation of the incident with the district’s insurance company and is reviewing its own policies and practices.

Over the Labor Day weekend, all students’ social security numbers were removed from the district’s main student database, she said.

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