University Learns Tough Lesson About Sensitive Data

The University of Missouri Athletics Department recently found out the hard way what happens when departments get rid of old cellular devices without clearing them of sensitive data.  The University sold 25 cell phones at a surplus sale that contained text messages and emails from coaches and staff. 

This incident, while unfortunate, reminds us that any device containing data must be wiped clean before being relinquished to another IU department or to IU Surplus.  In the case of cell phones and PDAs, the memory card should be removed completely.  This is also important to do on personal devices, which in many cases contain University email, etc.   Text messages and contact lists are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the type of data stored on mobile devices.  Removing memory cards and wiping hard drives helps protect both the University and the individual. 

Please note that IU cell phones for faculty and staff are only allowable in rare special circumstances. 

Related websites:

Indiana University Cell Phone Policy »

Indiana University Policy on Sale of Computer Equipment »

Learn How to Securely Remove Data »

Source:  Michelle Dugger

November 2009 Newsletter

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