Tips for Protecting Your Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

What is PII? It’s information relating to an identified or identifiable individual when such individual can be identified directly or indirectly, when used alone or linked to other online identifiers provided by their devices, applications, tools and protocols. Writes Baker Nanduru, VP of Endpoint Segment, McAfee for SMEStreet.

Tips for Protecting Your Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

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Baker Nanduru, VP of Endpoint Segment, McAfee

What is PII?

What is PII? It’s information relating to an identified or identifiable individual when such individual can be identified directly or indirectly, when used alone or linked to other online identifiers provided by their devices, applications, tools and protocols. Examples include your facial image to unlock your smartphone, your medical information, your finances, your phone number, internet protocol addresses, or other identifiers such as radio frequency identification tags.

You can also find examples of PII in the accounts you use, like your Google to Apple IDs, which can be linked to your name, your email address, and the apps you have. You’ll also find it in places like the apps you use to map your runs, because the combination of your smartphone’s unique device ID and GPS tracking can be used in conjunction with other information to identify who you are and where you like to do your 5k hill days. The same goes for messenger apps, which can collect how you interact with others, how often you use the app, and your location information based on your IP address, GPS information, or both.

Use a complete security platform that can also protect your privacy

Square One is to protect your devices with comprehensive security software. This will defend you against the latest virus, malware, spyware, and ransomware attacks plus further protect your privacy and identity. In addition to this, it can also provide it can also provide strong password protection by generating and automatically storing complex passwords to keep your credentials safer from hackers and crooks who may try to force their way into your accounts.

Further, security software can also include a firewall that blocks unwanted traffic from entering your home network, such as an attacker poking around for network vulnerabilities so that they can “break in” to your computer and steal information. Again, setting yourself up with security software really is your first step, as it offers numerous means of protecting your PII and other important information.

Use a VPN

Also known as a virtual private network, a VPN helps protect your vital PII and other data with bank-grade encryption.  The VPN encrypts your internet connection to keep your online activity private on any network, even public networks.  Using a public network without a VPN can increase your cybersecurity risk because others on the network may be able to easily hack into your browsing and data.

Protect your files

Protecting your files with encryption is a core concept in data and information security, and thus it’s a powerful way to protect your PII. It involves transforming data or information into code that requires a digital key to access it in its original, unencrypted format. 

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