Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority
April Money Tip for Students
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes and can affect anyone — including college students. There are several measures you can take to help protect yourself and your identity, according to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA).
Never provide personal information such as your Social Security number (SSN), bank account or credit card numbers in response to a phone call, fax, letter or e-mail. Shred any documents that contain personal or financial information.
Don’t respond to e-mails that claim to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS doesn’t contact taxpayers by e-mail.
Friends, family members, roommates and contract workers in homes make up a large percentage of identity thieves because they have easier access to your confidential information.
Pick up your mail as soon as possible after delivery or use a locked mailbox. Put outgoing mail in a blue Postal Service mailbox, hand it to a mail carrier or take it to the post office.
Never provide bank, credit card or other sensitive data when visiting a website that doesn’t explain how your personal information will be protected, including the use of encryption to safely transmit and store data. A site with https instead of just http at the beginning of the address is a secure site.
If you’re using an ATM card or debit card, ensure no one standing nearby can see your personal identification number (PIN).
On your personal computer, install a free or low-cost firewall to stop intruders from gaining remote access to your PC. Download and frequently update security patches offered by your operating system and software vendors to correct weaknesses that a hacker could exploit.
KHEAA is the state agency that administers Kentucky’s student aid programs, including the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship.
To learn how to plan and prepare for higher education, go to www.gotocollege.ky.gov. For more information about Kentucky scholarships and grants, visit www.kheaa.com; write KHEAA, P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, KY 40602; or call (800) 928-8926, extension 6-7372.