Online data increasingly vulnerable

Data Safety Graphic
Graphic by Beatriz Alvarado

Recent data hacks have
students questioning safety

By Kaye YoungReporter

In the modern age, data safety is of great importance. Recent events such as the hacking of major retailers, such as Target and Nordstrom, raise awareness about a serious and underlying issue. However, most college students have to worry less about retail stores being hacked and more about their school. More so since education websites typically respond the slowest to any sort of major problem, leaving the information at risk.

The average response time for a serious vulnerability is 193 days, but for those working with education it is about 342 days.

Most people tend to be very trusting and rarely think about giving their information to the school, but as with anything there is a risk involved. Only about 61 percent of problems are solved annually, which means that student’s safety could be at risk.

Jada Saunders, a graphic design major at Del Mar, said she has become a bit more worried recently.

Younger students have grown up in the modern age and tend overlook the risk.

To combat these facts, 46 states, including Texas, have enacted legislation requiring private or government entities to notify individuals of security breaches of information involving personally identifiable information.

Educational institutions do all they can to keep student information safe, both physically and online. Surveys prove that while it takes educational institutions the longest to respond to a problem, they are also one of the least attacked. The number of serious vulnerabilities is also decreasing.

Kayla White once had her identity stolen and said, “I’m very careful”

Being careful is about all that can be done, especially when it comes to giving colleges information. Constant vigilance and watching for inconsistencies and potential problems is key. It is also important to know what to do in the event of a problem to ensure the problem is fixed quickly.

“There is absolutely no substitute for being vigilant,” said Yaron Samid, CEO of financial planning software maker BillGuard, in an article for

It is also important to watch for scams on social media, and by phone or email. Stay away from simple passwords, and avoid using the same one or few for everything.

Julie Brown listened to all the tips and was able to stop someone who had stolen her identity before the problem got out of hand.

“All of the steps to protect myself were tedious, but in the end they were worth it,” Brown said.


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