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Information security starts with you

Published: 2010-02-01

Many different types of sensitive information exist at Fisher and Ohio State. We use this information daily in our academic and administrative roles; however, data and identity theft, viruses and other information abuses can have damaging implications for you, the college and the university.

Here are some tips for protecting your data:

Keep your computer up-to-date
Just as you follow the basic rules of car maintenance, take the time to maintain a secure computer. This means keeping your computer's operating system and protective programs, such as anti-virus and anti-spyware software, up-to-date.

Carefully guard all of your personal information
Most of us already know that it is important to protect your name, Social Security number and credit card and bank account numbers, but we should also protect other personal data, including phone numbers, birthdays and addresses. All of these can be valuable to an identity thief.

Be aware of what personal information is already available electronically and eliminate what you can
Data breaches have a direct impact on individuals in the form of financial burden, mental duress and loss of trust in the institution, and the university through potential significant financial losses and loss of credibility.

If possible, do not store personal information such as Social Security numbers and student grades electronically on your computer. In cases where this is not an option, please be sure to take the appropriate steps to ensure protection.

Be on the alert for scams
The majority of identity thieves rely on trickery to achieve their goal. To be sure that you don't fall victim, be suspicious of any e-mail, Web page, instant message or telephone call that requests any kind of personal or financial information. As a reminder, neither Fisher nor Ohio State will ever ask you for your username or password via e-mail.

Implementing best practices in your personal life and through your relationship with the college and university creates a safer environment for all. In the event that you suspect sensitive data has been exposed or misused, you should immediately notify the ITS Helpdesk.

For more information on protecting sensitive information, please visit the BuckeyeSecure Web site.