PII is Personal Identifiable Information – it is any information that can be used to identify someone.
Information such as:
- Date and place of birth
- Medical records
- Education records
- Financial information
- Employment information
- Telephone number
- Username and Password
- Credit Card
The concept of PII has been around forever, but it has become very important with the emergence of the internet, and how easy it has become to collect PII online. Websites that collect this type of information have privacy policies that speak to why they are gathering your PII and how inaccessible it is to third parties. Breaches of internet security, network security and browser security lately have made it easier for criminals to collect PII.
The leakage of PII has become more and more of an issue. Companies must do their due diligence to make sure your data is safe. When entering your information, make sure the website:
- Has a proper privacy statement outlining what they are doing with your information
- Complying with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
- Has an email privacy practice
- The website is secure
- Is legitimate with their online behavioural tracking practices
Advice for viewers: use your judgement, if a website seems dodgy, don’t provide your information.
Advice for companies: do your due diligence and make sure your websites are secure. A breach can be devastating for your business and for your customers.