Identity theft is an unfortunate by-product of our data-driven culture. By definition identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as your name, Social Security Number, Student ID number or credit card number to commit theft or fraud.
There are many ways that students can protect their personal information, as well as steps that UMass Lowell takes to provide further protection.
What You Can Do:
- Memorize all of your PIN numbers and passwords. If you must write them down, do so in a very safe place and do not indicate in any way what accounts the passwords match.
- Never tell anyone your passwords or PINs.
- Do not lend computers and accounts to others. Protect Social Security and Student ID numbers and only give them out when it is essential.
- Never give any credit card, bank or social security information to anyone over the telephone.
- Take great care when using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, or video sites like YouTube. Do not post risky, sensitive or potentially embarrassing personal information or videos.
- If you are the victim of identity theft contact the University Police at 978-934-2394 immediately.
What UMass Lowell Does:
- Student ID Numbers: UMass Lowell does not use Social Security numbers as student IDs. Instead, we assign students a randomly generated number with no encoded information.
- Student Information: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides guidelines for how we must protect student information. FERPA is a federal law that protects the confidentiality of student records. The law requires that UMass Lowell have a student’s written permission to release information from their records to any third party, including parents, spouses or employers.
Students need a user ID and password to access their information. Only staff members in a student services role are able to view confidential information, and they must have compelling academic reasons to do so.