ITS cyber security "Tip of the Week": Week 2

Know what's on your computer, and if you don't need it, get rid of it


October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This week's cyber security "Tip of the Week" from ITS focuses on eliminating unnecessary stored information.

From a security perspective, the best way to protect information is not to have it in the first place. Beyond security, storing old records takes up space, makes current information more difficult to find, and even subjects the university to the potential burden of having to produce those records in response to information requests and lawsuits. 

For all of these reasons, it is a good idea to take the time to remind yourself what you have stored on your computer and to delete what you no longer need. Remember to shred or securely delete anything sensitive. Candidates for deletion include:

• Drafts and old versions

• Extra copies of files

• Old emails and attachments

• Anything that you no longer need for which you're not the office of record

• Anything with Social Security number (SSN), if there isn't a legitimate business need for its retention. If you have to store SSNs, be sure they are properly protected. Contact ITS if you require assistance (contact info below).

For questions or assistance, contact the ITS Support Center:,, 459-HELP, 54 Kerr Hall.

Additional cyber security information is available on the ITS Security Awareness Web site at