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Locking down UW Data

October 4, 2012 by Sue Weier

Locking down UW Data

Everyone is concerned about privacy and safety these days.  We shred records and forms with personal information.  We lock our doors, password protect our files, and rarely walk alone at night  We're careful when we answer our phones, texts, and email.  We're all acutely aware of the issues of identity theft, keeping us alert and cautious. 

As employees of the University, it's common to have access to the information of students, faculty or staff.  It's important to keep that information as private and safe as we keep our own. The ideal way to keep it safe is to not store it at all.  We don't, however, live in an ideal world.  Sometimes sensitive or restricted data is forgotten or mislabeled, until we can't be sure what we have stored on our computers and servers. 

That's where Identity Finder comes in.  Purchased for all of campus, Identity Finder examines your files and finds data that looks like it might be restricted or sensitive.  It creates a report comprised of files that may contain problem data and allows you to take actions like:

  • Ignore data that appears on the report, but isn't sensitive. 
  • Securely delete files that have sensitive data but aren't needed anymore 
  • Securely encrypt the files you do need. 

In the event of virus or malware infections on your computer, a clean Identity Finder report minimizes further investigation considerably.  Instead of days or weeks without your computer, it may only be hours or minutes.

Cyber-security month is a great time to clean up your machine--or at least to find out if it needs it.  Take a few minutes to run a scan and remove unneeded data.  If you have questions, visit the DoIT KnowledgeBase at
https://kb.wisc.edu/search.php?q=identity+finder to find instructions on scanning and saving reports. Remember, a clean report means that a virus is just a virus. Without that report, a virus can become a public relations nightmare, and that can be a scary thought!

For more information about handling University Data and definitions of sensitive and restricted data, visit these links:

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