What is Protected Data?

Protected data, sometimes called Personally Identifiable Information or PII, is an umbrella term for information about a person that can be used to facilitate identity theft and other criminal acts. To define how much protection different types of data require, the CSU has developed a three-tier classification system:

  • Level 1: Confidential information governed by existing laws, such as Social Security numbers and their associated names, credit card numbers with cardholder names, or medical records for a specific individual.
  • Level 2: Information for internal use that must be protected for ethical or privacy reasons, such as student grades, courses taken, or disciplinary records.
  • Level 3: General information such as a person's title, email address, or other published information that exists in the public domain.

This is why employees with access to protected data must change their passwords more frequently than others.

If you need to store or process Level 1 data on your Humboldt-owned computer, you must let ITS know so we can help get you set up correctly. The university conducts regular audits to ensure the security of such data. Level 1 data may never be emailed or stored on portable media, or stored on a personally owned device.

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