How careful are you with your personal information? If you attend Stanford University, or have in the past, you might be at increased risk of identity theft. A recent wave of high-profile data breaches have hacked Standford’s records.
Let’s talk about how the breach occurred, and make sure that you have all the information you need to keep your personal information and your identity completely safe from scammers.
Stanford Gets Hacked, Details Stay Scarce
While a data breach like this is alarming, Stanford has actually been surprisingly quiet about the details and haven’t revealed how the hackers compromised their system.
At present, the breach is understood to potentially affect anyone who attends Stanford, has attended Stanford in the past, or anyone who works there. Still, school officials haven’t detailed what specific information may have been stolen or who committed the theft.
One hacker, going by the moniker Ag3nt47, is claiming responsibility, but has done so using information that would have been available to the public, anyway. Some security experts are therefore doubting the hacker’s claim, suspecting Ag3nt47 may simply be crying out for attention.
So, Why Stanford?
Again, Stanford is actually offering very little information about the incident. According to Sophos’ Naked Security blog:
“Stanford bosses claim to be ‘not aware at this time’ of any sensitive data that could have been harvested during the breach, and suggest it bears similarities to other ‘incidents reported in recent months by a range of companies and large organizations.'”
We don’t know exactly what information was taken, so it’s tough to figure out exactly why Stanford was targeted in the first place.
One relatively sound theory is the simple fact that universities are relatively easy targets for a hack like this. With such a huge network that needs to be accessed by so many different users and devices at all times, it can be tough to have an impenetrable fortress of digital security.
Officials are also assuming that this is the reasoning behind the recent glut of data breaches that have been plaguing big companies, schools, and other larger organizations.
Keep Your Data Safe
When a data breach like this happens, it can be tough to figure out how to know that you’re going to be safe from the nightmare of identity theft. If you think your information might have been compromised as a result of the recent Stanford University hack, there are a couple steps that will help you protect your information.
First, change your password immediately and make sure it’s a unique one. Hackers are often able to gain access to online banking portals and other sensitive accounts by using stolen passwords. This is why it’s smart to avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
If you need to, there are some nifty password management programs that can easily be downloaded or purchased, making it easier for you to keep track of which password goes where.
You can also check out this Scambook TV video about how to make a super-secure password.
Share Your Wisdom!
Do you have any tips for dealing with this kind of data breach? Let us know in the comments!
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