Data breach affects 24,000 Greenville Co. School students


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville County Schools announced Friday it was part of a massive data breach that affects 13,000 school districts and universities across the US.

7 News reached out to all the other school districts in our viewing area and, so far, none say they have been impacted.

As for parents in the Greenville School District, here’s what you need to know:

More than 24,000 Greenville County school kids who were in kindergarden between the fall of 2012 and the spring of 2017 may have been exposed by the breach of an education software system called AimsWeb 1.0.  
Pearson, the parent company, says the data breach may have been widespread but did not run deep.

“Thankfully this is a very low level data breach in terms of what was released.  It’s just first and last names and birth dates. We’re not talking about financial information. We’re not talking about social security numbers,” said Beth Brotherton with Greenville County Schools.

Still, any breach involving kids is unsettling to parents because their data is more valuable on the dark web as hackers look for clean credit histories.

“What’s going to happen with their information when they grown up or they go to college or applying for a new job or a house or a bank account, this can probably affect them in the future and we have no idea,” said Greenville parent Laura Hawkins.

She who has two teenage sons that fall into the possible 24,282.

Pearson is providing complimentary credit monitoring to affected families. And Greenville County Schools will be sending those parents letters to notify them.

For more information, visit the FTC Identity Theft website here.

Parents are advised to request a credit freeze with the three major credit reporting agencies.

Meanwhile, Greenville County Schools says it continues to screen vendors carefully and take steps to minimize the impact of hacks.

“It’s one of the reasons we don’t require a social security number for people to register their children because that information is something we don’t want to be responsible for or could be hacked,” said Brotherton.

Parents will be getting a letter in the mail only if your child is affected.

For information on how to receive free credit monitoring, visit the Greenville County school website here.

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