This article in a series on cybersecurity for businesses delves into the first of five main goals of a company’s cybersecurity policy: taking stock of all personal information your business possesses, locating it within your business, and identifying who has access to it. Understanding how personal information moves into, through and out of your business is essential to assessing cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
What is personal information? “Personal information” is statutorily defined in North Carolina to include a person’s first name or initial and last name in combination with any of the following: Social Security numbers, employer taxpayer identification numbers, driver’s license or state identification numbers, passport numbers, checking and saving account numbers, credit and debit card numbers, PINs, digital signatures, biometric data, fingerprints, any number that can be used to access financial resources, or a parent’s legal surname prior to marriage. An individual’s email name or address, Internet account number, Internet username, or password may be considered personal information if it would permit someone to access financial accounts or resources. Information in publicly available directories, such as a phone book, or government records such as a person’s name, address, and phone number, is not “personal information” under North Carolina identity theft laws.
Where to find personal information: We often think of personal information as just being electronically stored, but it can also be in paper records stored at or by your company. While each business’s collected personal information will vary, here are some places to locate it within your company:
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