Data Theft Continues to Rise; More Universities Affected

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Whenever a data breach occurs most companies are quick to offer those who may be affected -credit monitoring services.

Credit monitoring services will only notify you after there's a problem in your credit report, and long after the damage has occurred. The only effective way to lessen the damage and impact caused by a data breach is to offer a service that is proactive in nature -and one that provides assistance in recovering from an identity theft. Credit monitoring services are not a preventative service and most do nothing to help you restore your identity. It's important to find out whatever service you obtain -actually offers.

You may be one of the millions whose name, address and social security numbers were stolen, then sold by two former Countrywide Financial employees, or one of the 12 million Bank of NY Mellon customers who recently had their information compromised, -or one of tens of millions who had, or will have, their data compromised past or future data breaches that continue to take place on a regular basis.

Here are a few recently reported incidents affecting universities;

TSU says student Social Security numbers have gone missing.
University says 'more than 9,000 students' info disappeared earlier this week.

Tennessee University this afternoon announced that a flash drive containing the financial information and Social Security numbers of more than 9,000 students was reported missing earlier this week. A financial aid counselor reported the flash drive missing Tuesday morning after discovering that it was no longer in her possession, administrators said. The flash, which contained financial records of TSU students dating back to 2002, was last seen Monday evening. There have been no attempts to use the data. MORE

University of Iowa Engineering students notified of computer breach

Some 500 students in the University of Iowa College of Engineering are being notified by the college that their personal information may have been exposed in a recent computer breach. The compromised computer contained a file with names and Social Security numbers of students stored on its hard drive. However, the file did not contain information such as birth dates, grades or any financial information. According to Alec Scranton, associate dean of academic programs in the college, there is no evidence the file was viewed or copied, and it appears that the purpose of the breach was to use College Engineering resources to store copies of music and movies. MORE

Marshall University students info revealed online

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The names and Social Security numbers of nearly 200 Marshall University students were openly available on the Internet, according to school officials. On Aug. 22, the university discovered that the information of 198 students "associated with the College of Education in 2004" had been available on a student's personal Web page. The personal information was part of a word document. University officials do not believe the posting of the information was malicious or deliberate. Marshall officials have begun to notify the affected students. MORE

University of Pittsburgh Stolen laptop contains names and Social Security numbers of unspecified number of graduates. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, College of Business Administration graduates at the University of Pittsburgh have been notified that a laptop containing their personal information including their names and Social Security numbers was stolen last month. Citing an ongoing police investigation, Pitt officials today would not say how many alumni of the undergraduate program were affected. The laptop, stolen from Mervis Hall on Aug. 11, was being used by an employee to conduct surveys of alumni that are used in college rankings. MORE

For tips, steps and more info on how students (and others) can avoid becoming a victim of fraud search archives and see earlier blogs:  

College Students Beware..

Students & Social Networking 

And if you believe you may be a victim see: What should I do?

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