In lieu of the recent security breach of the Student Employment Web site, members of the UR community have voiced concern about the University’s ability to protect their personal information. The situation is undeniably serious it is upsetting in any sense to know that an identity has been ‘copied.”

But while stolen identities certainly warrant students and faculty to be mindful of whom they are distributing their personal information to, UR should not lose faith in Information Technology’s ability to protect its information. The University is working to address the current gap between maximum security and expedient access.

UR has not simply ignored data security in the past. For over a year, the University’s Data Security Taskforce has been constructing a new policy that would help to eliminate Social Security numbers from databases when not absolutely necessary.

Earlier this month, IT and the Office of Communications launched a new campaign geared toward raising student awareness on how to protect oneself from identity theft. While total data protection is difficult to master because of the myriad of ways hackers can infiltrate a system, the University has proven it is committed to making personal information secure.
Many universities face a constant struggle against identity theft because of how decentralized systems function within a community. At the same time, this organization of databases allows its university communities the conveniences that they have become accustomed to using regularly, such as online course registration. While striking a balance between security and convenience might be necessary at the moment, it should be the University’s prerogative to continuously strive for both.

A UR student should not have to choose between having access to expediencies and being vulnerable to identity theft. Despite the obstacles that the University face we concede that these are difficult it is still UR’s responsibility to safeguard data.

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