Florida Students Find SS Numbers Compromised

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The University of Florida announced last week that more than 11,000 current and former students had their personal information accidentally posted online by the school over a two year period that began in 2003 and ended in University of Florida2005. Social security numbers, names, and addresses were uploaded to the internet, opening up a possible identity theft opportunity for criminal elements.

Florida officials discovered the mistake in a recent routine audit and had the information removed immediately. The private information became available when former student employees of the Office for Academic Support and Institutional Service, or OASIS, program created online records of the students who were participating in the program.

Notification letters are being sent to approximately 11,300 students whose information has been compromised, but school officials acknowledge that 570 people cannot be reached because their contact information has since changed.

The University of Florida has set up a section on their website addressing the security breach with information detailing the incident along with incident report and claim forms. That section can be found at http://privacy.ufl.edu/

Regardless of what approach the university takes to help resolve the problem, impacted students should obtain copies of their three credit reports and check them periodically for suspicious activity. Although the university removed the information, cached pages often live on. In other words, archived pages might still be found which would contain your personal records.

All consumers are entitled to receive one free copy of each credit report annually through www.annualcreditreport.com. If you suspect that your personal information has been compromised, then obtain your credit reports immediately and inspect them for mistakes.

Further Reading

4 Steps To Recover From Identity Theft

I.D. Theft Remains Number One Consumer Complaint

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