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Tips for safeguarding confidential data

Protecting sensitive Personally Identifiable Information is a top priority at MSU Denver.

By Diane Watkins

February 7, 2019

hands hovering above computer keyboardMany departments at Metropolitan State University of Denver routinely handle sensitive Personally Identifiable Information — data that can be used or combined with other information to uniquely identify, contact, locate or impersonate an individual.

Sensitive PII is always considered confidential, including:

  • Social Security Number
  • Educational records protected by FERPA
  • Driver’s license number
  • Passport number
  • Alien registration number
  • Financial-account numbers (bank, credit card, etc.)
  • Biometric identifiers
  • Protected Health Information, which is protected by HIPAA

Information Technology Services offers the following guidelines for safeguarding sensitive PII:

Take stock.

  • Know what PII you have in your files and on your computers.

Scale down.

  • Keep only what you need.

Lock it.

  • Protect the information you keep. This includes physical and electronic security.

Pitch it.

  • Properly dispose of what you no longer need.

Share and store cautiously.

  • Never send PII via email or store on cloud services, such as Dropbox or OneDrive.

Report it.

  • Immediately report all suspected or confirmed privacy incidents to the ITS Helpdesk at 303-352-7548 or

Additional information about PII may be found on the ITS Security webpage at

MSU Denver is committed to protecting the PII of students, faculty, staff and other individuals associated with the University. Please do your part in protecting the PII entrusted to you.

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