Data Loss Prevention
Wentworth provides staff members tools to protect our students Personally Identifiable Information from being exposed by accidental loss or theft.
About Identity Finder
Identity Finder assists you in preventing data loss and identity theft by finding Personally Identifiable Information (PII) stored on your computer and provides you with tools to easily and quickly protect or securely dispose of it.
What is Personally Identifiable Information?
Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is any piece of information which can potentially be used to uniquely identify, contact or locate a single person. PII is generally kept private and often used for financial, medical or research identification. Examples of PII include Social Security Numbers, Credit Card Numbers, Bank Account Numbers, and Driver’s License Numbers.
Why clean up PII?
If your computer or external media (such as a USB thumb drive) is lost, stolen or broken into over the network, sensitive PII may be exposed. A surprising amount of sensitive PII may be retained on your computer just from daily use along with sensitive PII stored in personal and work files. This information can be used to steal not only your money and identity, but also the money and identities of anyone else who either shares your computer or whose sensitive PII you store for Wentworth work. And if you do store sensitive PII for Wentworth work, the college would be obligated under state law to notify everyone affected by the breach and could potentially be legally liable.
You might think this could never happen to you, but consider these facts:
- Laptop losses totaled $6.7 million for 2005 -- 2005 Computer Security Institute/FBI Computer Crime and Security Survey.
- 1 out of every 8 to 15 laptops were lost or stolen over the last few years
- Over eight million Americans have their identities stolen annually -- Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov/os/2007/11/SynovateFinalReportIDTheft2006.pdf)
- 85% of identity theft victims find out about identity theft through an adverse action such as a loan or employment denial and the average identity theft victim will have to spend 600 hours clearing his or her good name -- Identity Theft Resource Center (http://www.idtheftcenter.org)
Invest the time now to clean PII from your machine and help prevent Identity Theft for yourself, for everyone who shares your computer and for everyone whose data you handle.
Why can't DTS do this for me?
Although DTS staff may install software and help you with the clean up process, you must ultimately decided what files must be retained for your job and which are not necessary. Additionally, the PII searching software will find sensitive PII such as passwords and financial account numbers that you should keep private even from your computing support personnel.
Can I scan my personal computer?
Identity Finder offers a free version that you can install on your personal computers to find credit card numbers and passwords. Don't be surprised to find your own credit card statements or stored bank passwords on your computer! A full version is also available to scan for Social Security Numbers, birth dates, and more.