On January 28, the University of Ottawa and institutions worldwide celebrate Data Privacy Day. Read on to learn more about how you can help prevent data breaches by following the security policies and schedules related to protecting personal data.

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In 2022, an Ontario university sustained a major cyber incident that affected a large number of servers and workstations. In response, they had to disable the institution’s connection to the Internet, resulting in an interruption of service for many systems. Over 6,100 computers and devices were compromised, and operations were affected for a few days. The University of Ottawa is not immune to these types of attacks; your vigilance and diligence are required to help safeguard the University.

If you deal with personal information, work on a mobile device (smartphone, laptop, tablet) or share information, the following IT security policies and schedules apply to protecting personal data:

  • Policy 117 – Information Classification and Handling: If you work with, save, or send personal information this policy outlines security measures and responsibilities specifically related to the handling of that information. Review this policy if you deal with information such as student records, employee information, donor/alumni information or information related the University’s operations.
  • Policy 116, Schedule J - IT Asset disposal (access via VirtuO only): If you’ve recently received a new device or smartphone and are getting rid of an old device, consult this schedule to learn how to securely dispose of an old device to avoid data loss or risk exposing sensitive information.
  • Policy 116, Schedule N – Clean Desk (access via VirtuO only): Whether working with electronic information or printed hard copies, you have a responsibility to ensure information about employees, students, intellectual property, customers and vendors are locked and out of sight. This schedule also applies if you are working remotely.

Visit Your privacy rights webpage from the University of Ottawa's Access to Information and Privacy Office (AIPO) for additional details.