Do you have kids preparing for college? Do you live in Sarasota, Florida or Fairfax County, Virginia? Have your kids taken a prep class or any standardized tests provided by The Princeton Review?
If so, you need to be aware of a data breach that has affected more than 100,000 public school students.
The Princeton Review announced that it accidentally posted the personal information and test scores of 108,000 student on its website and left them there for seven weeks.
Besides the student information, several confidential internal files were exposed. Retired tests, preparation manuals and communications between employees were available to anyone entering a simple website address.
A competing test preparation firm discovered the security breach, and notified the New York Times. The Times then notified The Princeton Review of their error, and that portion of the website was immediately disabled.
Mike Haro, an analyst at the internet security company Sophos, said “we are finding that companies today don’t change until they have experienced the pain of a data breach that is exposed to the public.”
As of August 19, 2008 more than 237 million Americans have been affected by data breaches since January, 2005, according to Privacy Right Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer information and advocacy organization. The actual total is far greater that that because many private corporations and government agencies that experience data breaches are unable to ascertain the number of files or customers whose information is exposed or stolen.
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