The University of Arizona has just announced that 9,00o former law students and people who applied to the University of Arizona Law School had their personal information hacked in July from university computers where the information which included names and, most importantly, Social Security numbers were stored without proper security precautions. The university is now attempting to contact by mail those people affected by the breach. If you think that you may have had your information compromised in this hacking, you should contact the University of Arizona Law School at 877-522-7970 for more information including how to take advantage of the university’s offer of a year free credit monitoring to those affected. This is the third time in less than two years that the University of Arizona has been hacked and is a good example of the fact that universities are a prime target of hackers and identity thieves looking for large amounts of personal information that they can turn into identity theft. Many schools have been slow to implement the necessary security measures to protect the treasure trove of personal information on students, faculty and other employees that they hold.
As always, try as best you can to limit the places that hold your personal information because you are only as safe as the place that holds your information with the weakest security. Ask of any company, agency, school or other entity that holds your personal information what they do to protect the security of that information. Ultimately, however, the task of protecting yourself from identity theft falls on your own shoulders. Follow the steps I suggest in “50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age” including possibly using a credit freeze so that even if your personal information is compromised, your credit report cannot be accessed to facilitate a large purchase being made in your name.