Internet technologies make it very easy to collect all kinds of information about us, from sources like:
Big Data projects - large collections of data elements from many different sources - make it easy for government agencies, advertisers, corporations, private investigators and individual to put together a lot of personal information about us, to target us and to track our actions. Data mining and data analytics are big businesses today.
When you are a student, existing laws give some privacy protection for portions of your student record and contact information, through the Family Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA). Students in grades k-12 in California also have some protections under the state Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA). Those laws apply to how schools are required to handle your information, but they do not automatically protect you from hacking or data theft.
"People are comfortable with different levels of privacy in different aspects of their lives. Some want to keep their work and personal lives separate, while others want to avoid government monitoring or prevent corporations from using their data for profit. Some people want to restrict who sees their personal information as much as possible while on the other hand, some are not at all concerned about privacy and freely volunteer their information if it’s convenient or beneficial to them.
To maintain your own privacy and to respect the wishes of others, it’s important to think and talk about privacy preferences and to apply that thinking proactively when you use technology, for example by reviewing privacy settings. Knowing about how online information sharing works, and what the potential consequences can be, will help you make informed choices about privacy.".
Some clues that you're the victim of identity theft - or might be - are:
What can you do if you suspect identity theft?
For more information, see: