College of Education students and faculty members whose names were found in an unsecure database last month are being notified this week that some of their information may have been accessible to the public.
This database was used in connection with the College of Education students’ E-Folio software application, which captured students’ mastery of State of Florida and national teacher education standards through the tracking of grades, test scores, completed assignments and other data elements.
The database contained information such as GPAs, test scores and social security numbers, on more than 19,000 students and the social security numbers of 88 faculty members. This information is now secure.
Although there is no indication that an unauthorized person actually has retrieved and is using personal information, the university is notifying those affected, as required by law, and alerting them of preventive measures that can be taken to protect themselves from possible misuse of personal information.
Below are some resources and tips to consider if you believe your personal information may have been compromised:
Contact any of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. A fraud alert does not indicate fraudulent activity has occurred; however, it does advise new and potential creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts in your name. Additionally, your existing creditors are advised that they should contact you prior to making any changes (such as in credit limits) to your account. Once you notify one credit bureau, the fraud alert will be sent automatically to the other two.
The three credit bureaus can be contacted as follows:
Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; http://www.equifax.com/home/en_us
Experian: 1-888-397-3742; http://www.experian.com/
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; http://www.transunion.com/
Continue to check all of your accounts on a regular basis for unusual activity. If you determine that an account has been established fraudulently using your personal information, you should contact law enforcement and the financial agency that created the account.
The Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Hotline gives a comprehensive overview of what customers can do to protect themselves against identity theft and what to do if their identity has been stolen. The Hotline is available at 1-877-438-4338; TDD: 1-866-653-4261 or at www.consumer.gov/idtheft. The FIU Identity Theft Prevention Program can be found here: http://security.fiu.edu/uploads/index.php?name=identity_theft.