Personally Identifiable Information

October is Cyber Security Month! This week's topic is Personally Identifiable Information.

It may seem obvious to safeguard things like passwords and credit card numbers, but sometimes other more important information can be overlooked, increasing the risk of identity theft.  We're talking about Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

PII is defined by Massachusetts law as a person’s first name and last name or first initial and last name in combination with one or more of the following:

  • Social Security Number
  • Driver’s License Number or state-issued Identification Card Number
  • Financial account number, or credit or debit card number

Technology has made it easier to illegally collect PII through information security breaches. When handled carelessly, PII can be stolen and exploited by criminals to stalk, harass, or to steal a person's identity.

Because criminals can use this information to identify persons, it's important to avoid storing it unnecessarily on your devices.  Therefore, we recommend using Identity Finder, which is installed on most Stonehill computers.  Identity Finder can scan your computer and give you a report showing where it finds sensitive data, so you can address it.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the IT Service Desk at 508-565-4357 or via e-mail at