Are data breaches becoming more common?

WTHI Photo
WTHI Photo

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Indiana University is alerting the campus of a security breach.

The college announced yesterday that thousands of addresses and social security numbers may have been leaked.

It’s just one more in a string of data breaches in the last six months.

“As a consumer, as an individual you just have to be weary,” said Douglas Elia, Owner of PC Doc-Mac MD.

It’s warning from a computer specialist to be cautious when giving out personal information over the internet. From major corporations, like Target, to area universities more and more people are falling prey to hackers.

“So much information goes to and from the internet, and we use that term in such a broad sentence. Most people don’t understand the internet is a collection of computers from around the world,” Elia said.

In the latest attack social security numbers and addresses of 146,000 students and recent graduates of Indiana University may have been exposed.

The information was accessed not by an individual but through data mining applications called ‘webcrawlers’.

“That term like it suggests is they’re actually digging for information, names, social security numbers, and addresses,” said Elia.

While not an easy task, in a high tech age, these breaches are becoming more common.

“The people who do this are very intelligent, they are dedicated, motivated. What motivates them is a difficult question whether it’s profit or just the thrill,” Elia explained.

No matter the reason, it’s  costing consumers and companies’ big bucks. One defense is constant monitoring.

“It’s kind of a cat and mouse game. You’re a hacker; you’re very smart we’re going to hire someone who’s smarter than or as smart as you to keep you out,” said Elia.

He adds, it’s not just the major corporations who have to remain diligent.

“Text messages, Twitter, Instagram, all those things can be intercepted and what I mean by intercepted is while they are in the process of traveling someone can pick them up. People need to learn that anything you send out can come back to haunt you,” Elia stated.

I.U. officials notified the Indiana Attorney General’s Office. The school plans to notify all affected students this week as a precaution.

They have set up a call center to handle questions.

Students can call 866-254-1484 starting at 8 a.m. on Friday.

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