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CU acts to mitigate accidental posting of data online
ORLANDO, Fla. (8/8/08)--A Florida credit union is taking steps to mitigate the effect on members after their personal information was accidentally posted online. Information from an internal auditing document at Central Florida Healthcare FCU, a $57.5 million asset, Orlando, Fla.-based credit union, showed up online when some members conducted Google searches on their names. In all, a maximum of 187 accounts were exposed on the Web, but preliminary indications show that only two or three were looked at, Trudy Prince, Central Florida Healthcare CEO, told News Now. “Contrary to some media accounts, our entire database is not at risk; it is secure,” Prince emphasized. The credit union has hired forensic experts trained by the FBI to determine the number of hits on the compromised data and where the hits came from. The investigation is ongoing, and there is no data available yet, but it looks like there is a limited amount of activity, Prince said. “We have another team of specialists checking to see if human error or a glitch with the computer program caused the problem,” Prince added. “We’re making sure it doesn’t happen again.” The problem began on July 10 when a glitch occurred during a switch between Web-hosting companies for the credit union’s website. In the process of setting up passwords, an internal audit report used to review closed accounts, delinquencies and charge-offs was exposed on the Web, Prince explained. Last month, a credit union member entered her name into Google, and when it came up, she clicked on a link with information from the credit union. The member and her spouse then called an attorney on July 28. When the attorney called the credit union on July 30 to inform it of the situation, the credit union immediately shut down the site. “This couple is filing a lawsuit against us, and their attorney is looking to make it a class-action suit,” Prince said. The credit union talked to 400-500 members Thursday about the situation, and all are comfortable that their accounts are secure, Prince said. “It’s been time-consuming for us, but worth the effort,” she added. “All our members have been sent letters about the incident. We’ve given them information on how to get a free credit report, and we’ve provided a toll-free number for them to call and get free ID theft protection, which we are offering for up to a year.” Most members have been extremely positive and supportive of the efforts the credit union has undertaken to deal with the situation, Prince said. “Eight people on our credit union staff, including myself, have talked to members,” Prince said. “I talked to about 50 people today and all were positive. I also took the opportunity to talk to them about other credit union issues, and made the conversations educational and informative as well.”
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