Some Contra Costa County workers may have had their personal information compromised during a series of email data breaches that occurred last year, the county announced this week.

An investigation determined that an unauthorized person accessed the county employees’ email accounts “at various times” between June 24 and Aug. 12, 2021. According to the county, the investigation did not determine whether any emails or attachments in the accounts were accessed or downloaded by the unauthorized individual, “however, the county was not able to rule out the possibility,” they said.

The breach exposed “certain county employee emails” as well as individuals who communicated with the county’s Employment and Human Services Department. This information contained names, social security numbers, driver’s license or state-issued ID numbers, financial account numbers, passport numbers and medical information and/or health insurance information.

The county sent out letters on Friday to people they believe may have had personal information in the email accounts. The county is also providing information about the incident and steps those affected can take, a spokesperson for the county said.

The county says it is offering free credit monitoring to eligible individuals.

Contra Costa County has set up a toll-free call center line for people to call with questions about this incident. Residents can also call to confirm whether or not their data may have been exposed. The number is 855-604-1854, Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The county’s website also has information.

Contra Costa said it has implemented additional safeguards in the wake of this incident and will “continue to make further enhancements to the security of its computer systems and protocols.”

Katy St. Clair got her start in journalism by working in the classifieds department at the East Bay Express during the height of alt weeklies, then sweet talked her way into becoming staff writer, submissions editor, and music editor. She has been a columnist in the East Bay Express, SF Weekly, and the San Francisco Examiner. Starting in 2015, she begrudgingly scaled the inverted pyramid at dailies such as the Vallejo Times-Herald, The Vacaville Reporter, and the Daily Republic. She has her own independent news site and blog that covers the delightfully dysfunctional town of Vallejo, California, where she also collaborates with the investigative team at Open Vallejo. A passionate advocate for people with developmental disabilities, she serves on both the Board of the Arc of Solano and the Arc of California. She lives in Vallejo.