Parents of children seeking financial aid from colleges should be mindful that a great deal of information on their family finances and other personal matters becomes potentially available to computer hackers in the process.
Brian Krebs of Krebs on Security lists 108 items – from the student’s driver’s license number to his or her Social Security number – that are required on financial aid forms from the U.S. Department of Education. About all that’s not covered, he jests, is “What was the name of your first pet?”
Which is not to say, of course, that students shouldn’t apply for financial aid. But their families should be mindful of, and appropriately alert to, the tangential risks involved, however slim they may be.