A computer belonging to a faculty member was compromised and 2,500 social security numbers could be in the wrong hands. Before 2005, the university used social security numbers for student records. The students whose identities are at risk were in school between 1998 and 2004.
This isn't the first time the university sent out letters about social security numbers being compromised. Louis Colabove is a computer expert at eLeet Computer Systems in Altoona. Last year his girlfriend got a letter warning her about a potential problem with her social security number. They never had any problems, but Colabove knows the threat is real. He says people can open credit card accounts run up the charges in your name. At that point the best thing you can do is monitor your credit report. You can file a fraud alert with the three major companies Transunion, Equifax, and Experian.
But Colabove tells his clients it's a lot easier to prevent than to recover. He advises using a trusted third party service to shop online like PayPal, or using pre-paid visas, so there is a limit to how much you can lose, and if you are giving up sensitive information over a computer, use websites that start with "https". The "S" stands for "secure". It doesn't mean you are 100% safe, but it is more secure.
Colabove says the biggest computer scam going right now is the fake antivirus programs, create a problem, charge you to fix it, and often steal more than they charge.