Millions of student loan borrowers have had their data exposed in a recent breach, leaving them vulnerable to fraud or identity theft. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the student loan breach, how it might affect you, and what you can do to protect yourself.
On April 1st, 2021, it was revealed that a student loan origination platform had suffered a data breach, compromising the personal data of over 2.5 million current and former student loan borrowers. The breach exposed a range of sensitive information, such as the names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, emails and other contact information of affected borrowers.
What’s the Risk?
The data exposed in this breach could potentially be used for identity theft or financial fraud. Affected borrowers may be at increased risk of having their taxes stolen or of receiving fraudulent offers for credit cards or loans.
How to Protect Yourself
The most important thing you can do is to establish credit freezes and fraud alerts with the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). This will help prevent your data from being used for unsolicited credit applications.
You should also monitor your credit report regularly to identify any suspicious activity. This can be done by requesting a copy of your credit report from each of the three bureaus on a rotating basis.
Next, be sure to check your student loan account on a regular basis for any suspicious activity. This could include odd payments or automatic withdrawals that you did not authorize.
Finally, it’s a good idea to change your passwords regularly, especially to online accounts associated with student loans. If you’re using a weak or outdated password, now is the time to update it with a strong and unique combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
The recent student loan breach is a stark reminder of the importance of data security, both for individuals and organizations. While the breach is concerning, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed. By following the steps outlined above, you can significantly reduce your risk of becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft.
Share this article on social media to help spread awareness about the student loan breach and the steps you can take to protect yourself.