PII authenticates that you are who you say you are when performing a range of activities, such as applying for a job, registering for school, paying for goods and services, and receiving medical treatment. It is essential that PII be collected, stored, used, and disposed of appropriately to prevent identity theft and other fraud.
- [Instructor] Personally identifying information, or PII, includes those descriptive elements and facts that are unique about us. It also includes facts that, when assembled, create a recognizable picture of who we are. PII is what we use to prove we are who we say we are when performing a range of activities. These activities include applying for a job, registering for school, paying for goods and services, and receiving medical treatment. We present credentials, or proof of our PII, every day.
PII elements, our names, addresses, birth information, numbers issued by government agencies or educational organizations are a few examples, maybe used to build credentials. Such credentials are usually tangible proof that we are who we say we are. Sadly, PII elements may be stolen or sold to others who may not have our best interests at heart. They can use our PII elements to build a fake identity. They can also use them to pursue a set of activities known as identity theft or identity fraud.
Identity theft affects millions of people globally every year and costs them, and businesses, and governments, billions of dollars. In this course we will discuss identity elements, PII, and how credentials are built. We will discuss who has access to our PII, how they capture it, how they protect it, and what they do with it. We will discuss why our PII is valuable to others and what we can do to protect it from wrongful uses. Understanding PII is important for each of us as individuals.
It is also important that we recognize and help others value their own PII. As a daughter, mother, and grandmother, I see family members who do not always protect their PII. My aging mother, for example, does not fully understand how to protect her identity. She comes from an era, which I remember as well, in which our social security numbers were printed on our checks. Seniors can be easy targets. Surprisingly, so are the deceased. A significant amount of identity fraud is based on the PII of dead people.
The PII of children and young people is especially attractive to identity thieves because their credit history is clean. Also, it is unlikely that someone younger than 16 will be checking for the wrongful use of his or her PII. PII is precious and merits our protection. We should also question how others collect, store, use, share, and dispose of our PII to prevent identity theft and other fraud. In this lesson, we have discussed common PII elements and why we should protect them.
We also mentioned their use to commit identity fraud and the high cost of this criminal activity. Next we will discuss some of the challenges related to keeping PIIs secure.
This course was created and produced by Mentor Source, Inc. We are pleased to host this training in our library.
- What is PII?
- Formal and informal capture
- Why is PII protected?
- Legal and regulatory influences
- High-profile PII breach cases: Medical, financial, and educational
- Global differences in PII use
- Protecting PII as an individual
- Best practices for organizations to protect PII