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Security & privacy

Breach! Hackers access school databases and the results are terrifying

Keeping our kids safe is a full-time job. We not only have to teach them about stranger danger but about online safety.

Even with warning our children about the risks of online chat rooms and websites with questionable material, there are other dangers we can’t protect them from. 

School databases hacked

It’s scary but hackers are hovering around school databases, trying to gain access to personal information about students. It’s important to check with your children’s schools to make sure they’re taking the necessary steps to prevent a security breach.

Parents at an Iowa school learned the hard way what it’s like to be a victim of this type of invasion.

They started receiving SMS messages from an anonymous person or persons threatening to kill students at their kids’ schools. If that wasn’t bad enough, the messages contained personal details of the children due to hackers gaining access and stealing information from the school network.

Police got involved with the school district and closed all schools the following day. It was a tough decision but it was made in the interest of the safety of the students.

What happened?

Fortunately, there wasn’t much credibility to the threats. The self-proclaimed “thedarkoverlord” group took responsibility for the hack on Twitter. The group bragged about how the scare led to more than 7,000 students staying home.

There was no doubt this group was responsible since they released a local student directory with the names, addresses and phone numbers of the students.

The incident definitely raises concerns about the security of school networks. In this case, it doesn’t appear that any harm was planned with the personal data obtained. However, those claiming responsibility suggested the directory could be used by sex predators, creating, even more, fear in parents.

DataBreaches says other schools have also been the victims of this type of threat of violence against students. One reason could be to get the police off their backs.

What’s interesting is the hack comes just weeks after the Equifax breach which impacted tens of millions of Americans. Both show that stepped up security at all IT levels is important.

And speaking of beefing up security, it’s also a good idea to clean out files slowing down your computer

While there’s not much you can do to protect yourself when others have control of your personal information, there are steps you can take to prevent someone from tapping into your PC. Part of it involves cleaning out your files.

Click here to learn more on how to clean out clutter from your computer.

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