BVSD Data Breach: Cause for Concern?

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BVSD Data Breach: Cause for Concern?

Lara Spijkerman, News Editor

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If you keep up with BVSD news, you might have heard that our district was affected in a data breach caused by Pearson, the educational company that supplies our textbooks. Boulder High was one of 13,000 schools and universities affected by this breach. While the word data breach is scary, is it really that big of a deal?

Let’s begin by defining the nature of this problem. According to searchsecurity.com, a data breach is a “confirmed incident in which sensitive, confidential or otherwise protected data has been accessed and/or disclosed in an unauthorized fashion.” This information can be as important as a social security number or as trivial as a birthday.

So how important was the information that was leaked from this data breach?

To put it simply, the information leaked was inconsequential. The only information released was students’ first and last names and dates of birth. Considering the fact that no social security numbers or health records were released, this breach will most likely not result in identity theft. While our breach may have been small, it serves as an important reminder of the fragile security of our online data. Next time a breach happens, it could be more important.

 

A logo from Pearson, the educational media company responsible for the leaks.

 

In light of this, it seems prudent to go through some actions you can take to help protect your identity. Though this may seem irrelevant now, the security of your online information is critical to protecting your privacy online.

The most important thing to hide is your social security number. If you’re the type of person that keeps important pieces of personal information in your notes app, it’s time to reassess your decisions. If someone were to hack your phone, your identity could easily become their property. 

Another tip is to be mindful of your activity on the internet. If you are sent a link from an email you don’t recognize, don’t open it. It’s most likely not a Nigerian prince but rather an identity thief. As for passwords on important sites, make sure that they are complicated with a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t use information for important passwords that could be easily found on the internet such as your mother’s maiden name or the name of a pet.

If you or your family are worried that your information is being misused, Experian is offering free credit tracking to all families affected by this breach. While this breach was small, it’s a good opportunity for students to realize that data breaches can happen. In this digital age, sharing and stealing of personal information is more prevalent than ever, and it is more important than ever to make sure you’re vigilant in matters of online security

If you want more tips to protect your identity, Nerdwallet provides a more comprehensive guide here.