County announces private data leak

·1 min read

Aug. 6—Niagara County officials announced Friday that a data leak occurred at its Department of Mental Health via an email sent out in May.

According to a county bulletin, the Department of Mental Health warned that protected health information, including names, contact information, date of birth, social security numbers, insurance information, as well as treatment and diagnosis information, may have been leaked in a single business email sent out between May 4 and 5.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the Department of Mental health is providing this public notice for the benefit of anyone who may have received services from the office recently," reads the notice.

The document goes on to say that the department takes this breach of privacy seriously and those who receive letters, "can enroll in credit monitoring and identity theft service as instructed in the letter, and take other steps to protect their information including, but not limited to, placing a freeze or fraud alert on your credit file, or obtain a free credit report."

The department has utilized the assistance of cybersecurity professions in this matter and invites any of those who receive a letter or feel they're affected can call (716) 439-7197 where a dedicated phone line has been created for them to leave their contact information.