Information about City of Houston employees’ health insurance may have been compromised after an employee’s laptop computer was stolen.
City officials say the laptop was stolen from the employee's car on Feb. 2. They say the password-protected computer may have contained city employees' records, including names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and other medical information.
The City is working with the Houston Police Department and the Office of Inspector General to recover the laptop and determine if any information was compromised.
City officials say human resource professionals are trained not to remove laptops from City offices unless sensitive data is encrypted. They say one employee “failed to follow his training.”
“Because one employee failed to follow his training, all employees authorized to work with group health plan data are being retrained to reinforce the prohibition against removing unencrypted data from the protections of City facilities,” City officials said in a statement. “Potentially affected employees, retirees, and their dependents will receive a letter notifying them of the potential breach. Because Social Security numbers were involved, it is recommended that those who receive a notice place a fraud alert on their credit files.”
The City is providing free credit monitoring and identity restoration services for one year to help protect personal information. Those with questions on this case may contact the City at 1-855-288-3409.