Changed Novasis logins protect student identities

Maria Brachelli

This summer, the Office for University Information Technologies stopped using Social Security numbers as the primary Novasis login.

To implement the new identification system, Novasis was shut down for one day at the beginning of August.

Students, faculty and alumni can now use their newly generated identification numbers, or Banner IDs to access personal records. The new IDs have eight digits so people do not confuse them with Social Security numbers.

The project was initiated as to secure personal information and to control the dissemination of personal information.

Currently, students can use their e-mail login, Social Security number, or Banner ID to access Novasis. However, all incoming students this year will have only the generated number option. Only when accessing records such as financial aid will they be asked for their Social Security number.

State law does not restrict Pennsylvanians from using their Social Security number to retrieve personal information. However, it indicates that this personal number cannot be distributed to third parties.

“If this law is changed in the future, we are equipped to handle it, and most likely, [we are] already in compliance,” said Clete Rickert, director of University Systems.

“I think it’s a little confusing,” said Rebecca Rose, junior economics major. “I’ve never felt unsafe using my Social Security number, but I guess Villanova knows what it’s doing.”

“With all the things going on with identity theft, we found it imperative,” explained Susan Hill, assistant director of Enterprise Wide Systems. “Now, when we produce reports, the Social Security number will not be on any of the reports except financial aid and payroll essentially those where it is necessary.”

Aimee Kohli, a senior Spanish major, said, “I got the e-mail and I thought it was a good idea. But I’m so used to using the Social Security number that I never changed it-mostly because I won’t remember [the Banner ID] anyway.”

Efforts to secure personal information on Novasis began in late March after several employees attended a conference that discussed the dangers of using Social Security numbers for identification. New York and California have state laws restricting such usage.