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Financial Friday: Fill Out Your FAFSA Securely

Valrie Chambers, Ph.D., Stetson University professor

Valrie Chambers, Ph.D.

Remember to fill out your FAFSA for financial aid. Last year, these forms interacted with the federal income tax returns on file to automatically show your family income for FAFSA purposes. This year, that field will populate but will not be visible for security reasons.

Does that mean the FAFSA system is safe? Sort of. It is as safe as any other system that is widely used, but we should always be a bit cautious and proactively protect our information as best we can. Use the following tips when filling out your FAFSA and any other form requiring sensitive information:

  • Connect via a private, secure network. While a coffee shop might be a nice environment; open, public Wi-Fi is not the place to be filling out sensitive information.
  • Double check that you have a secure connection. Look for the “s” in “https” and the padlock in the URL field.
  • Don’t save sensitive information like your Social Security number to your computer. If you do experience a personal computer breach, it could be compromised.
Betty Thorne, Stetson University

Betty Thorne, Ph.D.

 

Valrie Chambers, Ph.D., is chair of the Accounting Department and associate professor of taxation and accounting. Betty Thorne, Ph.D., is a professor of statistics and the Christian R. Lindback Chair of Business Administration. They write Financial Fridays to bolster students’ financial wellness, including preventing financial mistakes, safeguarding their assets and identity, and thinking critically about financial decisions. For questions, contact Valrie Chambers at Valrie.chambers@stetson.edu

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