Trash It, Don't Stash It

Project Clean-up
Improving security and minimizing risk through proper data management

We're asking everyone on campus to scrub email boxes, file servers (local and hosted), and cloud storage accounts, eliminating any data no longer needed. We also have tons of paper filed away and destroying those documents is important as well. We have a campus contract that can help you dispose of electronic media as well as paper documents.

Key components of this project:

  1. Scrub email, file servers, and online storage, eliminating unnecessary data.
  2. Focus on old spreadsheets, PDFs, recruiting/search data, student records.
  3. Lower the risk of inadvertent disclosure of sensitive data.
  4. Contact the Auburn Library, Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy, or OIT if you need help.

Please DO keep everything required. But, old drafts of performance reports, lists of students and grades, hiring documents, personnel actions, et cetera should be retained by the office of record and all copies of these documents properly deleted or shredded. We recommend you pay particular attention to spreadsheets and PDF documents which more often contain sensitive information. Your information technology team members can help you with any issues you may encounter. They will also be running automated tools to minimize the number of files that should be reviewed.

Why are we asking you to do this? Old documents are a serious risk issue. Auburn stores data in a multitude of locations. Data resides on OIT file servers, departmental file servers, email boxes, thumb drives, and private cloud accounts such as Dropbox. Campus offices have files on purchasing, hiring, and personnel actions. Outdated data is often not properly protected and a potential source for unauthorized disclosure of sensitive Information. In recent weeks we've experienced two separate disclosures of sensitive electronic data, data that should have been purged years ago. Without a concerted effort to remove outdated Information, Auburn will continue to experience "data leaks." These leaks expose our colleagues to potentially harmful activity such as identity theft, and also puts Auburn's reputation as a top-notch institution at risk. We can't allow either of these to happen.

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Last Updated: October 05, 2017