OAKLAND COUNTY - Dozens of students at Oakland County Community college will be receiving some disturbing news.
Due to some kind of computer glitch, their private information was made public last weekend.
Just hearing about the situation made some students nervous in the middle of finals week. "It worries me that someone's going to get their hands on that and use it, obviously not for good reasons," said student Tyler Brock.
"I'm looking forward to getting started in my career and I need good credit established to get my car and everything. So, if that's out there and other people have connections to that it makes me really nervous," said another student, Rachel Hughes, of Milford.
Read more: OCC students' personal info shows up online
The situation came to light after some students went into the Oakland County Community college website looking for financial aid information. Suddenly, they saw something they weren't supposed to see.
One student sent us a printout of what he saw online. It included other students' birth dates, social security and driver's license numbers.
We deeply regret any possible inconvenience that might have caused to our students," said George Cartsonis, director of College Communications.
However, he did acknowledge while the problem was first reported Friday, the students' information was not removed from Oakland County Community College's website until first thing Monday morning.
"We had the bad luck of it happening on a Friday afternoon, of course the college is closed on the weekend. And, it was a combination of unfortunate circumstances," he explained.
He also said the information was apparently picked up by some computer search engines, and the school was working with them to make sure that personal data would be removed from those sites as well.
Cartsonis said the college planned to send emails to the 129 students affected by the later afternoon of April 24th, and those messages would be followed by written letters. He said students who do not receive that email are in the clear.
"We have taken all corrective action to prevent future occurrences," he continues, trying to reassure all the students at Oakland Community College that their personal information is safe.
Also, he said the students affected would receive free one-year subscriptions to and identity theft monitoring system.
What You Can Do
Ruth to the Rescue contacted the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan to review the steps anyone can take if they ever suspect their personal information has been compromised.
1) Make sure to monitor all your critical accounts to spot any suspicious activities.
2) Request a credit report from the three monitoring agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, www.annualcreditreport.com, or call toll free 1-877-322-8228
3) If you believe your at risk, you can ask that a "fraud alert" be placed on your file. Just remember, that can make it harder to open new credit
accounts quickly, as your applications may face extra scrutiny.
4) Close any accounts that have been compromised.
5) To be on the safe side, change passwords regularly, and especially if you think any account with a similar password may have been compromised.
6) If you spot fraud, call your local police and contact the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Hotline 1-877-438-4338
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