The financial data of hundreds of thousands of Louisiana college students, loan applicants and their parents were lost a month ago while in the possession of Iron Mountain.

What types of personal information? Financial information, including Social Security numbers.

What was the response? State officials have urged victims to check credit reports, cancel the bank accounts from which automatic withdrawals are made and put fraud alerts on old accounts.

The Iron Mountain driver responsible for the incident has been fired.

The data loss wasn’t reported until this week because Iron Mountain officials wanted to determine whether the data was misplaced.

The state attorney general’s office is investigating the incident.

According to state officials, the following people may have been affected:

-Anyone with a Louisiana College Savings Account;

-Any state resident who filled out an application for Federal Student Aid, even for out-of-state schools;

-Anyone who applied for a Tuition Opportunity Program for Students scholarship.

Details: The data were lost Sept. 19 when an Iron Mountain employee was driving them across the Mississippi River from Port Allen to Baton Rouge.

Quote: “The average Joe on the street couldn’t pick it up and access the information,” said Melanie Amrhein, director of the state Office of Student Financial Assistance. “He would have to have special computer equipment and skills and know what computer language it’s in.”

For help: Visit www.osfa.la.gov.

Source: NOLA.com (The Times-Picayune of New Orleans), Oct. 17, “Student data lost in security breach