Community College of Rhode Island

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Report Problems
Please e-mail:
itsd@ccri.edu
or call 401-825-1112 to report any compromises of data or security attacks directed at you or your computer.

Data Security Guidelines

The media reports almost daily about incidents in which private data has been compromised through theft, negligence, or ignorance. Accordingly, every employee of CCRI that is entrusted to use institutional data while carrying out their duties must take responsibility for understanding what legally protected private data is and how to protect it. The goal is to collectively avoid unwanted disclosure of personal information to prevent unfortunate experiences like identity theft or other data related problems for which the individual and the College may be liable.

Following the best practice guidelines below will help protect CCRI's information assets and minimize the legal issues and negative publicity that result when preventable data breaches occur.

  • Know the meaning of the term "private data" and become familiar with associated laws like FERPA and HIPAA.   Examples of legally private data include: social security number, birth date, gender, ethnicity, citizenship, credit card numbers, home phone number, home address, health information, and non-directory student information like schedule, classes taken and grades.
  • Store private data on a secure server and not on your desktop, laptop or thumb-drive. For instance, a database full of usernames, passwords and social security numbers should never be put onto a portable device such as a laptop.   Your departmental share drive is a secure server that is backed up nightly.  It can be utilized to store any data that you must protect.
  • Review all of your computer systems including your laptop, desktop computer, home computer, or hand-held mobile devices, memory sticks, and the drives and folders on them for social security numbers, credit card numbers or any other private information.  Delete these files if you don't have a work-related need for them.  If you must keep the data, consider moving it to your department share
  • If you must store data on a removable storage medium, like a USB key, make sure that it is encrypted and keep it locked in your desk, or at a minimum, out of sight in a locked office when not in use.
  • Use Microsoft security to control who can access private data stored in Excel, PowerPoint, or Word data. For example, you can protect your entire excel workbook file with a password, allowing only authorized users to view or modify your data.
  • Never  send confidential information such as social security numbers, credit card information or confidential personal information via e-mail.
  • Laptop loss, usually by theft, is a big problem. To prepare, assume that you will lose your laptop and periodically review the data that you store on it.  Encrypt or password protect any data that remains on your laptop.
  • Use a security cable to lock down your laptop or desktop computer whenever possible.  Contact the Service Desk if you need security cables.
  • Read and understand the Responsible Use of Information Technology and Data Security policies.

Please e-mail the IT Service Desk at  itsd@ccri.edu  or call  (401) 825-1112 to report any compromises of data or security attacks directed at your computer.


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Last Updated: 2/16/14