CONCORD, Mass. - The Town of Concord is urging residents and employees to keep an eye on their bank and credit card statements after more than a hundred hard drives that were removed from town computers have disappeared.
Town Manager Stephen Crane said 108 hard drives were removed from town computers on October 17 as part of a routine replacement program.
Crane said the hard drives were schedule to be destroyed during a recycling event at Concord Public Works, but they were improperly removed from the facility on Keyes Road.
Town employees searched the facility for the hard drives, but couldn’t find them.
Crane said he reported the missing hard drives to police. Concord Police immediately launched a criminal investigation and the town started an administrative probe.
According to Crane, the town has hired outside experts who specialize in computer data analysis to understand what types of information any have been stored on the missing hard drives. The analysis continues, but the town hasn’t been able to determine what personal information may be at risk. He said it does appear much of the data on the hard drives related to current and former town employees.
“Out of an abundance of caution, the Town is providing this notification to the community in advance of the conclusion of the investigations in the interest of transparency and to give employees and residents the opportunity to follow best practices for monitoring personal information,” Crane said in a statement.
Crane added the town will formally notify anyone whose personal information may have been compromised once the investigations are complete. The town will then also offer any personal protections required by state and federal laws.
If any Concord resident or and town employee sees suspicious activity on their bank or credit card statements, they’re urged to contact the bank or credit card company, in addition to notifying Concord Police by calling 978-318-3400.
“You may want to consider monitoring your accounts, placing a security freeze on your credit report and placing fraud alerts with the three credit bureaus,” Crane added.
Crane said the town is only notifying people now because the investigations have required confidentiality.
“In closing, I want to express the Town's sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this may cause residents and employees,” Crane said. “Town departments are doing everything possible to identify those who have been impacted personally and to determine what processes need to be improved to better protect Town property.”
The town directed people to the Federal Trade Commission’s website for more information about protecting their personal data.
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