Making a difference
Joan Perkins’s column “Parking Office Blunder” in the Oct. 24 issue of The Maine Campus is the tip of the iceberg of a potential risk that we all are exposed to at UMaine. The Parking Office blunder of broadcasting a student’s sensitive personal information is a dangerous breach of security. This is also not the first time something like this has happened – nor, as long as the administration continues to use our Social Security numbers as the basic student identification number, will it be the last.
You may have read the news this summer about admissions office employees at Princeton hacking into Yale’s computers to gain information on student’s application data. This could have been used for something more nefarious than admissions to an ivy league college. Three thousand students at the University of Indiana were not so lucky several years ago when hackers got into a computer and posted student records on a Web site.
The University of Maine has taken on the most nominal safeguards against unauthorized access to your Social Security numbers. This number, as Joan Perkins pointed out, is beamed all over campus. This means that for every individual who handles student records, there is an increased potential for this information to be mishandled and exposed to the public.
There is something students can do, and that is run – don’t walk – down to the office of student records and get a new student ID number. You can do this. It is something of a pain in the ass, but it’s a lot better than trying to fix the problem after the crime of identity theft has been committed. There is only one person who can safeguard you from identity theft, and that’s you.
Senior spatial information science and engineering major