Laptop swiped – thousands of social security numbers – surprised?

North Carolina officials say they are alerting residents whose names and Social Security numbers were stored in a laptop computer stolen from a state employee.

The identification data is from more than 52,000 North Carolinians registered with the Division of Aging and Adult Services. Another 32,645 names in the computer had the last four digits of the Social Security number attached, the agency said Wednesday.

The individuals would be getting letters on how to place a fraud alert on their credit cards and a reminder to be wary of unusual phone calls from solicitors.

The computer disappeared from an airport shuttle bus on Oct. 25, the division announced Wednesday. The files were protected by a password.

Computer security at its 19th Century best.

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