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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Limit personal data

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By Khalid Diriye

Protecting your personal information is a good habit for reducing the risk of identity theft. Things like your social security number, medical records, and network keys are a few things that are listed as personal/private information. The four main ways to protect yourself from such risks are listed below.

1.      Ask yourself what if you lost yourself device?

v  Your personal information is valuable to identity thieves. Precautions such as having a strong password or finger-print verification on your device can stop that from happening.


2.      Delete personal documents that are no longer needed on your device.

v  Delete all data off your devices that don’t need to be there! Keep in mind that just because your data has been deleted off your hard drive doesn’t mean it can’t be retrieved. Keep this in mind when you storing data on your device.


3.      Backup personal information onto an external hard-drive.

v  If you have to keep your personal information stored on your device, back it up to a secure cloud solution (Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, DropBox, Amazon, etc..).  Keep the hard drive somewhere you feel it’s safe from getting into the hands of a stranger.

v  For official University information, use MavDISK or Office 365 OneDrive for Business.  Google Drive, etc… cannot be used for official University data at this time.


4.      Keep up to date with the latest security platforms out there to protect your electronic devices.

v  Antivirus/Spyware software such as AVG, Avast, and Super-AntiSpyWare are great and free tools to use that provide a safer environment when handling software that carries malicious software within it.

v  For University assets, Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection is the only approve anti-virus / anti-malware solution.


5.      Encryption is available on most devices so having your device encrypted can prevent thieves from gaining access to your data.

v  If you have more questions or would like to know how to get your device encrypted for safety precautions email: or call (507) 389-6654

Having your personal information compromised is never fun. For an added safety feature track your device with tools such as Google’s “Android Device Manager or Apple’s “Find my iPhone” more information on that topic on “Track that Device!” post.

Passwords and passcodes can also help you increase your personal information security. Passwords that are longer than 14 characters and have a mix of special characters, normal characters, and numerical values this way the chance if your information being stolen will decrease. If you like more information on passwords there is a blog post written by another member of the Information Security Team titled “Why do we need long and complex passwords?".