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PII Protection is Part of the Job: How to Make Data Security a Joint Responsibility

Posted  October 18, 2018  by  Lynn Brown



In the past, information security has been a function of an organization’s IT and security departments.

Today, however, all employees have to step up, and National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is the perfect time to review your workplace's security policies, so every employee can help to ensure online safety. 

Whether someone is in the office, working from home or using a public network, data security is critical. Furthermore, as the lines between work and home continue to blur, it’s more important than ever to practice good data security, especially in protecting PII (personally identifiable information). PII is any data that could potentially identify a specific individual. 

Cyber security is a major part of building a culture of security, which should also include ongoing training and embedded security-driven processes like document shredding. Here’s how every employee can be part of PII data complicance, to better protect confidential and personal data.

  1. Keep security software current and patched.
  2. Keep clean machines. There should be clear company rules for what employees can install and keep on their work computers.
  3. Use strong passphrases (not easy-to-guess passwords) for all accounts and devices.
  4. Use two-factor authentication when possible for a second layer of protection.
  5. Avoid phishing scams. Delete obvious emails, and never open suspicious links or attachments. 
  6. Use common sense while browsing. Connecting with people you don’t know can increase vulnerability to attack.  
  7. Report any suspicious behavior, messaging or requests – online or in the workplace.
  8. Tighten security settings for social media websites,and avoid publishing personally identifiable information (PII) – cyber criminals glean this information.
  9. Avoid public Wi-Fi networks if transmitting personal or confidential information. It would be more secure to use the device’s data plan for anything important.  
  10. Protect mobile devices in and out of the workplace. Never leave devices unattended in public places or visible in a locked vehicle. Be aware of who is around when working in public – and who might see confidential data on screens. Always lock devices when they’re not in use. 

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