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Protect Paper Records with Sensitive Information

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    Just like sensitive information on a computer, sensitive information on paper must be protected from unauthorized access or disclosure. Protection of personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI), in all forms, is required by various federal and state laws including HIPAA, FERPA, and GLBA. PII can also be used for identity theft and other crimes. Examples of sensitive information include names combined with Social Security numbers and/or account numbers as well as health information. Recommended safeguards include:

    • Printed reports with PII/PHI data should identify the name of the individual responsible for printing as well as date/time and data source.

    • Supervisors and managers are responsible for supervision of employees who have the ability to print such reports.

    • Avoid printing Social Security numbers unless required by law or absolutely necessary to meet to a business-related need.

    • Always store paper reports containing PII/PHI in a secure location such as a locked filing cabinet.

    • Shred paper with PII/PHI before discarding.

    • Limit distribution of documents with PII/PHI.

    • Physical access controls should be used for offices, labs, classrooms, or any other area that houses records with PII or PHI.

    To read the complete tip, including additional steps to protect sensitive paper records, please click here.

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