Sensitive information should be kept at work

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. John Vasquez
  • 82nd Training Wing Information Assurance Office
Did you know that working on or storing For Official Use Only or Privacy Act data on your privately owned computer is forbidden?

Not only is doing so prohibited, it is grounds for your computer to be confiscated and its hard drive, including personal data, completely erased.

The consequences may sound a bit harsh, but chances are that your home computer is far less secure than your computer at work. It may lack the physical security of barbed wire fences, gate guards and cipher locks. It may lack the network and computer security of state-of-the-art firewalls, anti-virus protection, software patches and common access card enabled authentication.

Think back to May 2006 when the home of a Veteran Affairs employee was burglarized and how much national media attention it received because of a stolen laptop. This break-in was so troubling because the laptop contained the personal data of 26.5 million veterans and over two million active duty military members.

It potentially put Social Security Numbers, birthdates and dependant information into the wrong hands.

Air Force Instruction 33-202, Network and Computer Security ,Volume 1, addresses the fact that our people and their personally identifiable information are extremely important. The ban to process sensitive data on privately owned information systems eliminates the risk of compromising the confidentiality and integrity of that data.

So not only can you rest easier knowing that your personal data is safe, you can relax since all those enlisted performance reports you are writing have to stay at work where they belong.

For more information, please contact your Unit Information System Security Officer.