UWF, like other universities, uses a variety of information systems (e.g. Banner, Financial Aid, PeopleAdmin, Payroll) to conduct University business. These systems contain sensitive information such as social security numbers, financial statements, and employee elections, information that can be used to specifically identify an applicant, student, or employee. Capturing and maintaining this information is necessary to carry out University activities but if personally identifiable information falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to identity theft, fraud, and other similar harms.
In addition to accessing electronic systems of information, UWF employees manage sensitive information in multiple other ways, including email, postal mail, printed forms, and business conversations. As a University employee, it is important to be aware of the information that you handle, and to understand the impact of what could happen if you allow or enable personal information to be accessed by a person or persons who are not authorized to have access to this information. Most security incidents occur through staff not knowing what to do.
WHY IS CONFIDENTIALITY IMPORTANT?
Unfortunately, security breaches are all too common today. They have happened at government agencies, major universities, and retailers. The consequences of a security breach can be serious involving disciplinary actions, regulatory fines, and class-action lawsuits. In addition, newspaper coverage and editorials on the perceived ignorance or complacency of the affected organization can be damaging to the organization’s public image.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
The Federal Trade Commission suggests several guiding principles for information management including: