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More Than 500,000 Hit in San Diego School Data Breach: What to Do

Personal information of more than half a million people was stolen from computer systems used by the San Diego Unified School District, the school district said today (Dec. 21). The information includes full names, dates of birth, current street addresses and Social Security numbers, which is everything an identity thief would need.

The San Diego skyline. Credit: Dancestrokes/Shutterstock

(Image credit: The San Diego skyline. Credit: Dancestrokes/Shutterstock)

The data system was breached via a phishing email sometime between January and November of this year, the school said in an online posting. The intruder got access to information on students, staff and parents dating back to the 2008-2009 school year.

Students may be most heavily impacted, as they were among those whose Social Security numbers were compromised. Because elementary and secondary school students are likely to not have established credit histories, their records are especially desired by identity thieves. Staffers also had Social Security numbers stolen; parents and guardians did not.

The school district said it had already notified all affected individuals. But regardless, if you attended or worked for San Diego public schools at any time since 2008, you'll want to check your credit reports now. Request a free credit report from each of the Big Three credit-reporting agencies — Equifax, Exprerian and TransUnion — at You may also want to institute a credit alert or a credit freeze, both of which are now free.

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Paul Wagenseil
Paul Wagenseil is a senior editor at Tom's Guide focused on security and privacy. That's all he's going to tell you unless you meet him in person.