PII, what it is and how to protect it

The Tip

What is PII? PII, or personally identifiable information, is sensitive data that could be used to identify, contact, or locate an individual. In the wrong hands, PII leads to identity theft and other forms of fraud.

The Detail

Living in a society that’s so immersed in connectivity and technology has, unfortunately, led to a sacrifice of privacy. Scammers and social engineers violate privacy by gaining your trust and convincing you to release info or to click on something or to install something. Stay alert, follow policy at work, and prioritize security at home!

How to Avoid Identity Theft in 5 Easy Steps

  1. Reduce information. Limit the amount of personal info you make public. Set your social media profiles to fully private and thoroughly vet all friend requests.
  2. Remain skeptical. Government and tax entities will never email you requests for payments. Treat all requests for sensitive info or money with a high degree of skepticism.
  3. Respond responsibly. If you receive a notification that an account has been compromised, call the number on your card or visit the legit website. Never click on unsolicited links that come via emails or text messages.
  4. Record activity. Log into your financial accounts weekly to confirm that no unauthorized purchases have been made and consider placing fraud alerts on your credit reports.
  5. Restore defaults. When recycling old smart devices, be sure to delete all data and restore to factory default. Shred all sensitive documents before discarding.

If you have more questions about these topics, please contact UTS, and we’d be happy to offer what guidance we can. There is also a wealth of information to be found using your favourite search engine.