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tennessee technological university

Communications & Marketing

What happened?

A technical problem in the way student bills are printed resulted in the possibility that some students' personal data may have been compromised.

What kind of information became vulnerable?

Some student social security numbers and personal identification numbers may have been sent to another student's address.

Is my information at risk?

Odds are no, but the university decided to notify every student who was scheduled to receive a bill. While the university suspects the number of records made vulnerable is relatively small, campus officials preferred to err on the side of warning all 3,100 individuals who might have been mailed a bill the week of Sept. 10-14.

How will I know?

The university will contact any student for whom it can verify personal information was made vulnerable. However, any students who received a letter from the Business Office about the incident should consider protecting themselves as outlined on the Federal Trade Commission web site at

How did TTU respond to the problem?

Within a day after the problem was identified, the university e-mailed letters to those affected, notifying them of the problem and outlining steps to help prevent possible fraud. Officials quickly blocked all access to the student web system until the personal identification numbers for any possible affected student Eagle Online account were reset. The university also notified law enforcement and is contacting the major credit reporting agencies to inform them that some students' personal information may have been compromised. Officials will also conduct regular reviews of student accounts to watch for any suspicious activity.

What is the university doing to help protect the students?

The university responded as outlined above. Students were also advised about how they could protect themselves. Information about contacting credit reporting agencies and creating fraud alert systems was mailed to them and made available on the university's web site, where a link to the Federal Trade Commission site includes detailed instructions on what to do to avoid identity theft and fraud.

Have the appropriate people or agencies been notified by the university?

Yes, the university also notified law enforcement and is contacting the major credit reporting agencies to inform them that some students' personal information may have been compromised.

Will the university make sure it doesn't happen again?

Yes. A team of individuals representing several offices has discussed the issue and identified several ways to prevent it from happening again. The Business and ITS offices are implementing several security measures that should keep a problem like this from recurring.

What can I do if I'm concerned about protecting my personal information?

The Federal Trade Commission recommends that you call the toll-free fraud number of any of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies and place an initial fraud alert on your credit reports. An alert can help stop someone from opening new credit accounts in your name.

  • Equifax
    P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374- 0241
  • Experian
    1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
    P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
  • TransUnion
    Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

You are entitled to order free copies of your credit reports, and, if you ask, only the last four digits of your SSN will appear on your credit reports. Once you get your credit reports, review them carefully. Look for inquiries from companies you haven't contacted, accounts you didn't open, and debts on your accounts that you can't explain. Check that information, like your SSN, address(es), name or initials, and employers are correct. If you find fraudulent or inaccurate information, get it removed. For more details about protecting your identity, visit the Federal Trade Commission website at

Once you've taken these precautions, watch for signs that your information is being misused. If your information has been misused, file a report about the theft with the police immediately, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, and notify the TTU Records Office immediately.

Does this mean I won't get a bill?

Nice try, but no. New bills will be prepared and mailed soon. The university will not charge any late fees for students affected by this problem and will work to resolve any issues that may arise.