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1 Million Texans Potentially Impacted By Dental Care Data Breach

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - More than a million Texans may have been impacted by a massive data breach involving a large dental care provider.

Jefferson Dental and Orthodontics, which has 72 offices across Texas, reported to the Texas Attorney General's Office a data breach affecting up to 1,026,820 Texans.

The breach was posted on the state's website on Thursday.

The breach is the largest reported to the Texas Attorney General since the new notification law went into effect in September.

The new Texas law requires companies to report data breaches affecting 500 or more Texans to the Texas Attorney General's Office.

The state is then required to publish a list of the data breaches online.

In a notice sent out to impacted patients, Jefferson Dental and Orthodontics wrote there is no evidence, to date, that the compromised information has been misused.

The same notice listed Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, health insurance information, and financial information among the types of information potentially exposed or taken.

The dental care provider first became aware of the malware attack on August 9.

Once its investigation was complete, it began notifying its patients with letters in January.

Gary Davis, a cybersecurity expert with Blackberry, said he worries most people who receive data breach notices in the mail simply ignore them.

"There's just so much noise about data breaches that consumers become numb to it," he said. "They just think at some point they're going to have to do something about it, so they just wait till that happens."

Davis said he recommends people be more proactive. He said people who may have had their personal information compromised should closely monitor their accounts and freeze their credit.

Since the new state law went into effect on September 1, 2021, nearly 250 companies have reported data breaches impacting at least 500 Texans.

For more information on the Jefferson Dental and Orthodontics data breach, you can call the company data breach hotline at (844) 788-0420, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Time.

The company also posted its notice on its website.

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