Protect Your PII

The Information Technology Services (ITS) Security Office is working to protect our community’s Personally Identifiable Information* (PII), such as Social Security number, driver’s license or account numbers. Protecting our PII is a shared responsibility.

In compliance with Massachusetts regulations, ITS works hard to protect the sensitive information of our Brandeis community members. As part of this effort, ITS remotely deletes hidden or discarded files containing PII on university-owned Windows computers. Please note that we will only delete files that have been in temporary folders and the Recycle Bin for more than 15 days. This process will occur weekly on Sundays at 12 a.m.

As a member of the Brandeis community, it's important that you do your part to ensure that your computer does not contain sensitive information. ITS recently upgraded the Spirion application (formerly Identity Finder), which is used to detect PII, on university-owned Windows and Mac computers. If you have a university-owned computer, Spirion should be located in the Applications (Mac) or Program Files (PC).

We strongly encourage you to run a Spirion scan on your own and remove any files that contain unnecessary PII. Here's what you need to do:

  • Open the Spirion application
  • Enter a Profile Password to save your scan results; and
  • Select the green "Start Search Now" button.

More details, including a user guide, are available on the Spirion page. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact

*As defined in Massachusetts General Law 93H, PII includes any data record (electronic or hard copy) that contains an individual's first and last name (or first initial and last name) in combination with any of the following data elements that relate to the individual:

  • Social Security number;
  • Driver's license number, government-issued identification card number or
  • Financial account number, or credit or debit card number, with or without any required security code, access code, personal identification number or password, that would permit access to an individual’s financial account; provided, however, that personal information shall not include information that is lawfully obtained from publicly available information, or from federal, state or local government records lawfully made available to the general public.