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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 199873 Find in a Library
Title: Combating Identity Theft on Campus
Journal: Campus Safety Journal  Volume:11  Issue:4  Dated:April 2003  Pages:28-29,41
Author(s): Vicki Lyman
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 3
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explains how school records and student ID requirements can become sources and opportunities for identity theft, which involves the use of another person's symbols of identity to commit fraud and larceny against that person.
Abstract: Information on school computer systems can contain names, addresses, dates of birth, and social security numbers of students and staff. Once a hacker has access to this information, it can be manipulated or sold on the Internet through bulletin boards or chat rooms. One option that can help combat illegal use of campus computer equipment is the institution of an "Acceptable Use Policy," which specifies guidelines and standards for the use of computers and Internet access. Schools should have zero tolerance policies for the unacceptable use of computers. Further, any disposal of student records and other confidential information in school administrative files must be preceded by shredding. Identity thieves regularly search dumpsters for identity information. Social security numbers should not be used as student identification numbers. If this is done, it would not be unusual to find student grades posted outside of a classroom by students' social security numbers instead of their names. An identity thief can be a student in the class; and knowing students' names, can then watch them scan the sheet to find their social security numbers. Thus, a name can be matched to a social security number, which is all that an identity thief needs to exploit that person. Another opportunity for identity theft is when credit card companies solicit student credit applications on campus. On some campuses, credit card companies must be sponsored by a student organization before they can solicit the application. At issue is the procedure for handling student applications for credit cards, which typically contain personal information that can be used by an identity thief. Who has control over this information during the solicitation event? Are the completed applications diligently collected after each is completed and put in a safe place? These are questions that must be addressed to ensure protection against identity theft.
Main Term(s): Crime prevention planning
Index Term(s): Campus Security; Computer privacy and security; Computer related crime; Crime specific countermeasures; Identity Theft
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