Personal data for individuals in 23 professional and business categories may have been exposed in a potential breach of a database used by Washington state Department of Licensing’s online licensing system, known as POLARIS, which has been taken offline as a precaution.

According to the agency, these categories include:

Appraisal management companies

Architects

Auctioneers and auctioneer companies

Bail bond agencies, bail bond agents, bail bond recovery agents

Body art/body piercing/tattoo

Camping resort companies and camping resort salesperson

Cemeteries

Combative sports

Commercial driver training

Cosmetology

Court reporters

Driver training schools

Funeral directors, embalmers, interns; and funeral establishments

Geologists

Home inspectors

Landscape architects

Motorcycle schools

Notaries

Private investigators and private investigator agencies

Real estate appraisers

Real estate brokers, managing brokers, firms and branch offices

Security guards and security guard companies

Timeshare companies and salesperson

POLARIS also includes licensing for professional engineers and land surveyors, although they regulated under a separate state agency.

The Department of Licensing has opened a call center to handle questions about the incident: 855-568-2052.

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What to do

If you are hit by a data breach or ID theft:

While there is no foolproof way to ensure that your information is safe, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft.

Call the companies where the fraud may have occurred.

Work with one of the credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) to check your credit report for suspicious activity and to place a fraud alert or credit freeze on your credit report.

Report the identity theft to the FTC at IdentityTheft.gov.

File a report with your local police department.

Send a copy of the police report to the three major credit bureaus.

Ask businesses to provide you with information about transactions made in your name. A template for a letter you can complete and send to businesses to request records is available on the Attorney General’s Office website at: https://www.atg.wa.gov/db-letter

If you receive a breach notification or believe that you may be a victim of identity theft, please visit the Washington Attorney General’s website for help.

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