Many students at the University of Essex have had their personal information leaked to the public after it suffered an online data breach.

The incident occurred as an email sent from an external partner contained a spreadsheet with student IDs, dates of birth and contact details on March 23rd.

A spokesperson from the university said: “We are taking this issue very seriously and ensuring our delivery partners understand our high expectations about the management of data.”

More than 400 pupils at the university have been affected by the event, which was the result of facilities management emailing to request for payment for repairs to a broken door at one of the halls of residences.

Legal specialist at law firm Hayes Connor Christine Sabino was reported by Education Technology as saying: “Breaches of this kind can have a big impact on those affected.”

She noted that individuals trust information they provide to be handled in a secure way, which is why this incident is a “particularly worrying one”, especially as these students are young adults living away from home for the first time.

A lot of the people who have been affected have contacted Hayes Connor about the situation, as they feel like it has undermined their trust in the university. They are now looking for an explanation, while the university continues to offer advice and support to its students regarding the breach.

This comes at the same time the Home Office’s visa service accidentally copied the email addresses of over 170 people into a message, enabling recipients to see everyone else who had been contacted.

While the message did not include other personal data, it followed up the email with an apology for the data breach, reported The Guardian.

Breaches of this kind can have big implications for individuals and companies, which is why it is important to have adequate protection in place, such as business insurance in Stafford.