Tips for Protecting Institute Data

Just as anyone working with chemicals needs to know about special handling requirements, those who are handling certain data are required to do the same.

Massachusetts law now states that if you handle personal information (e.g. social security number (SSN), driver’s license number, or credit card or bank number), you are expected to protect it from unauthorized access. If there is a data compromise, MIT has a responsibility to notify the affected individuals. The new term PIRN (Personal Information Requiring Notification) was introduced to highlight this responsibility.

Whether you handle PIRN on a regular basis or infrequently, you need to understand your role in protecting it. MIT’s Written Information Security Program outlines these expectations and provides guidance.

MIT provides technical and procedural resources to help you:

  • Find out if you have PIRN on your computer;
  • Encrypt information you need to keep when stored on laptops or other mobile devices;
  • Thoroughly wipe the data from old computers that are to be repurposed.

If you need help with computer security settings, contact the IS&T Service Desk at 617-253-1101 or For self-help, search the articles in Hermes, the IS&T knowledge base.


About MIT
IT Security Awareness Consultant and Communications Specialist at MIT

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