Personally Identifiable Information

What is personally identifiable information?

Information that can be used to identify, locate, or contact a person is known as “personally identifiable information” or PII. This concept is not limited to your online data, but refers to all PII for a given individual. According to the National Institutes of Technology, examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Full name

  • Home address

  • Email address

  • Social Security or other national identification number

  • Passport number

  • Vehicle registration plate number

  • Driver’s license number

  • Face, fingerprints, or handwriting

  • Credit card numbers

  • Digital identity

  • Date of birth

  • Birthplace

  • Genetic or biometric information

  • Telephone number

  • Login name, screen name, online nickname, or handle

The internet has made it much easier to collect and sell people’s PII. Cybercriminals are also constantly on the lookout for ways to steal PII to commit identity theft, physically stalk the individual in question, or plan criminal acts. Always be exercise caution when a website, email, text message, or even a person asks you to divulge PII.

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