PII, or personally identifiable information, is sensitive data that could be used to identify, contact, or locate an individual.
Examples of PII
Personally identifiable information includes, but is not limited to:
- Home addresses
- Personal phone numbers
- National ID numbers
- Personal email addresses
- Credit card numbers
Examples of Non-PII
Info such as business phone numbers, business email addresses, race, religion, gender, workplace, and job titles, are typically not considered personally identifiable information. But they should still be treated as sensitive, linkable info because they could identify an individual when combined with other data.
Why Is PII Important?
- Personally: Our PII is necessary to acquire some goods and services, such as medical care and utilities. But in the wrong hands, PII leads to identity theft and other forms of fraud.
- Professionally: We may store PII of customers, clients, vendors, contractors, employees, and partners. If organizations leave this info unprotected, they could face steep fines.
How to Protect PII at Work
- Follow your organization’s security policies.
- Treat all requests for sensitive info with a high degree of scrutiny.
- Stay alert.
- Think before you click.
- If you have any questions, please ask!
How to Protect PII at Home
- Do not click on random links and attachments.
- Guard your personal info online and in real life.
- Destroy all sensitive documents beyond recognition.
- Set your social media profiles to fully private.
The University of Pittsburgh has a slightly more thorough breakdown of personally identifiable information on its website. Other types of PII you should be aware of: Biometric data (retina scans, voice signatures or facial geometry) and asset information (Internet Protocol or Media Access Control addresses that consistently link to a particular person).
The Security Awareness Company works with you 1-on-1 to implement cyber awareness & compliance programs. With a greater than 95% client retention rate, we’re experts at creating human firewalls out of end-users! Get started here.
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