MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two laptop computers are missing from Lifeblood's possession and presumed to be stolen.
The dual-password protected laptops were used on mobile blood collection drives, and each included information about Lifeblood's blood donors, including names, contact information, blood type, gender, ethnicity, and, in some cases, Social Security numbers.
The organization is notifying all of the approximately 320,000 affected individuals about the situation and encouraging them to place fraud alerts on their credit reports in the unlikely event that an unauthorized person gained access to the data on the computers.
Based on the level of password security and the intricacies of the database structure, Lifeblood believes that is extremely unlikely that an individual who is not specifically trained to use the laptop and who does not have a valid Lifeblood ID and password could access the information contained on it.
Since the discovery Lifeblood has implemented additional security measures to protect against future theft of property or donor information. These measures include more restrictive access to and continuous closed circuit monitoring of the areas housing the laptops, installation of software to allow remote tracking and erasure of the hard drives on laptops used on mobile drives, and additional programming to prevent full Social Security numbers from being downloaded to mobile laptops.
The Memphis Police are assisting with the investigation, and a reward is being offered for return of the computers or for information that leads to their return. Anyone with knowledge about the missing laptops should call Memphis Crimestoppers at 901-528-CASH (901-528-2278).
Individuals who are concerned that their personal information may have been on the laptops are encouraged to take precautionary credit protection measures such as placing fraud alerts on their credit reports. Information about precautionary credit protection is available online at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/idtheft/id04.shtm and at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft. Donors may contact the three credit reporting bureaus directly by phone by calling the numbers below:
Lifeblood Individual Donor Relations 1.888.543.3256 (1-888-LIFEBLOOD) 901.529.6337
Since 1974 Lifeblood has been the Memphis community's only full-service blood center and is the area's leading provider of blood and blood components to area hospitals. Because Memphis is the eighth largest medical center in the United States and hosts the second busiest trauma center in the nation, local hospitals use blood at twice the national average, requiring more than 100,000 units of blood every year. Lifeblood's volunteer donors provide about 55,000 units of blood for transfusion each year. The remaining units are imported from other volunteer community blood centers throughout the country. Only dedicated donors can help close the gap between the amount of blood needed for our community and the amount collected.
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