CAMP PENDLETON. Calif. --
Safeguarding Personally Identifiable Information properly is critical to reducing the possibility of the loss or compromise of sensitive information that can adversely impact the integrity of the
Marine Corps and its personnel, according to Commanding General’s Policy Letter 7-13. When PII is compromised, it can cause undue emotional and financial hardship on service members, civilian Marines, and contractors.
“Identity theft is a serious issue,” said Elisa Reyes, the Freedom of Information Act Coordinator at Marine Corps Installations West - Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. “PII can reveal a lot of information about many aspects of a person’s life which can be exploited. It’s important that everyone is aware of how to protect, manage and properly dispose of PII.”
PII is any information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Social Security Number
- Date of birth
- Home address
- Home phone number
- Driver’s license number
- Medical information
- Work performance information
“I think a lot of people aren’t aware of the importance of being careful about sensitive information and how to safeguard themselves,” said Reyes.
The information is not limited to those stored on physical devices such as USB drives, hard disks and printed material. Personnel are also urged to limit the information they divulge online on social media networks and other websites.
“People need to pay careful attention to their privacy settings,” said Reyes. “If they don’t know people who are sending them social network invites, they shouldn’t be adding them. They should also be careful putting locations and home addresses on social networking websites, which could constitute a serious security breach.”
For more information on how to protect PII, please contact the FOIA Coordinator at 760-725-6253 or visit: http://c4.hqi.usmc.mil/PII.asp