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The original item was published from 11/4/2019 9:01:00 AM to 11/4/2019 9:01:55 AM.

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Secure Jeffco News

Posted on: October 14, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Protecting Sensitive Information

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October is National Cyber Security Month.
Jefferson County has partnered with the Golden, Lakewood, Westminster, and Wheatridge to develop 5 articles, one for each week this month, on what we think are the top things you should know about cybersecurity.

Sensitive information is data that must be protected from unauthorized access to safeguard the privacy or security of the individual or organization.  There are legal and regulatory definitions of sensitive information that include healthcare data and financial information, social security and driver’s license numbers.  There are business definitions of sensitive information that include mergers, acquisitions, and intellectual property.  There are also unique and personal definitions of sensitive information that include any information that if lost, compromised, or disclosed could result in harm, inconvenience, or unfairness to an individual.

In general terms, sensitive information is any information that could be used to conduct identity theft, blackmail, stalking, or other crimes against an individual and this is information we should protect both at home and at work.

While it might feel daunting, there is actually quite a bit you can do to protect your sensitive information.  This article has 101 tips for protecting your sensitive information:  

Here are my 5 top recommendations:

  1. Take stock. Know what personal information you have in your files and on your computers.
  2. Scale down. Keep only what you need, share only what is required.
    1. When asked to provide sensitive information inquire if that information is required, and if it is, ask how they are protecting your information.  Provide only the information required.
    2. When offering information, like on social media, consider how that information could be used by an unauthorized party. 
  3. Lock it. Protect the information that you choose to keep.
    1. Keep your software up-to-date.
      1. Here is how you keep your Mac up-to-date.
      2. Here is how you keep Windows up-to-date.
    2. Encrypt your data.  This will ensure if your computer is lost or stolen your data on that device is protected.
      1. Here is how you encrypt a Mac.
      2. Here is how you encrypt Windows 10.
  4. Pitch it. Properly dispose of what you no longer need.
    1. Shred paper documents.  Jefferson County hosts an annual Shred-a-thon.
  5. Plan ahead. Create a plan to respond to security incidents. 
    1. Ensure you are backing up data you can’t afford to lose permanently.
    2. Know where to look for help if your data is breached.  Some guidance is provided on Secure Jeffco.

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