Did you know? You could be providing identity thieves with information to commit a crime, if you store sensitive AU or personal data on your computer. All members of the AU community are obligated to protect not just our own personal data, but also any AU data to which we have access.
OIT has licensed MyIDProtector, a software application to help you locate personal information stored on your Windows XP or Vista computers. You can install it from the "Download Software" link under the Technology section on the my.american.edu Web portal to scan your personal computer, USB, and network drives for sensitive data.
MyIDProtector scans your computer for files that appear to contain sensitive data. This includes possible bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers; mailing addresses; and phone numbers. Credit card and social security numbers alone are not a risk, but they can lead to identity theft when combined with a full name.
After scanning your computer, MyIDProtector displays a report with the names and locations of the flagged files. This report is sent only to you, not to OIT or anyone else.
Consider the following safe practices for protecting sensitive data:
- Delete files with sensitive data if there is no longer a business need for them.
- Store files with sensitive data that must be kept, on either your G drive or on the I drive if others department members will need access.
- Lock your computer screen if you walk away, and require a password to begin using it again. To set a password in Windows XP, use the Screen Saver tab of Display Properties.
- Encrypt your hard drive to protect your information. Encryption is a simple process that encodes your computer information so only your Windows password will decrypt it.
- Request a security consultation with OIT to learn about security measures, such as whether hard drive encryption is right for you. Please contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550, email@example.com, or on instant messenger at AskAmericanUHelp for assistance and further information.
Installation instructions for MyIDProtector are available online.