By: Tonya Mead, CFE, PI, MBA, MA Educational Psychology
Yesterday, WannaCry threatened to impact the global internet infrastructure. In May, computer security experts warned of the second biggest ransomware attacks, ever. [WP, headline, May 14].
At the same time, the Center for Data Innovation has taken the opposite approach. Rather than provide helpful suggestions to parents for avoiding the threat of data exploits; they warn parents to dismiss people like me. People who advocate for better protection of student confidential information (date of birth, complete name, social security numbers, addresses, parent occupation, disability status). Go figure?
In fact, the FTC encourages parents to advocate. “Asking schools and other organizations to safeguard your child’s information can help minimize your child’s risk of identity theft.” [FTC, second paragraph]. Maybe the suggestions and ideas advanced in my book aren’t too far off the mark after all.
Identity theft can pose a lifetime of misery for its victims (for minors and young adults, the misery starts sooner) . Criminals sell this confidential information for about $10 to $30 per record on the Black Market.
Sometimes one wonders if educator elites and those staffing think tanks, schools and universities really care about the end users of their educational services (students and the parents who provide financial support).
In an altruistic vain the email reads like the Bobby McFerrin song, “Don’t worry, be happy.” Read from a nefarious viewpoint, it sounds like a covert attempt to protect the $1.7 billion annual educational assessment market. (2012 data reported by EdWeek).
Once again, these subjects are covered extensively in my book. I hope you will take the time to read and reflect upon its contents. Thanks for your time and support.
Tonya J. Mead, CFE, PI, MBA, MA, Certified K-12 Administrator and School Psychologist is author of Fraud in Education: Beyond the Wrong Answer and president of Shared Knowledge, LLC http://ishareknowledge.com