Pearson is a mega provider of educational products and services worldwide, including here in the U.S. Their recent data breach compromised 13,000 schools and university accounts. In one school district, as many as 114,000 students were affected.

We have seen data breaches among some large companies and organizations including Equifax, Facebook, even Capital One very recently.

2 things to note about this breach:

  1. Who it impacts
  2. The timeline

Who It Impacts

The Pearson data breach affects students – many of these were minors. They aren’t even old enough to complete a credit card application yet and now their personal information, including names, dates of birth, and email addresses could be on the dark web. The troublesome part about compromised accounts is credit checks and identity monitoring may come up clean now, but years down the road these same individuals become identity theft victims.

In addition, child identity theft can go much longer without detection because parents aren’t typically running credit checks and dark web scans on their young dependents. This gives cyber criminals more time to piece together child identities until they have all that they need to fraudulently:

  • Take out a mortgage
  • Claim dependents on taxes
  • Use medical benefits
  • Rack up credit card debt

Historically, parents haven’t had to worry about protecting their kids’ identities. However, with the online world we live in, even children are leaving a digital footprint from birth.

The Timeline

November 2018: Actual Breach

March 2019: FBI notified Pearson of the cyberattack

August 2019: News of Pearson data breach made public

Course of Action

Get on the offense and have a plan in place for you and your family.

  • Find out if you or your children have been the victim of a data breach, credit, or identity fraud.
  • Set up regular credit monitoring and alerts of fraudulent activity.
  • Get insurance to cover losses caused by identity theft.

Learn More about Child Identity Theft and how you can protect them.