SIOUX CITY, IA — The data breach at Iowa State University means thousands of people will have to watch out for identity theft. Hackers accessed a server with the social security numbers of nearly 30-thousand current and former ISU students dating back to 1995.The security breach is big news at Western Iowa Tech here in Sioux City, which prepares students for careers in cyber security. In an era when computers are increasingly important, cyber crime is at an all-time high. "I mean criminals don't need have to go in and put a ski-mask on to rob a bank. They can do it from the comfort of their home," said Cyber Security Professor Ryan Sporrer.The ISU data breach reaffirmed the importance of programs like Western Iowa Tech's. Student Sara Chinn said it's an education that needs to happen early. "I think we need to start people at an early age in this. I think it's really critical for people at the high school and middle school levels to start being more proactive about digital security," Chinn said.However, there are a few easy preventive measures you can take: update your password; make sure your computer is updated; and continue using anti-virus software.Failing to follow these simple guidelines could spell trouble for personal or work computers."Any company is vulnerable, provided that they don't frequently update their systems and software and run anti-virus and run good security procedures," said Sporrer.It's important to note that these types of criminals don't need a lot of money to operate. Most of them can work off of a regular PC or laptop with average hacking ability. Instructors say taking some small steps can go a long in making your personal data more secure.
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