Data Protection

Table of data classification with examples.

Click here to download the CSU, Chico Data Classification and Protection Standards!

What is Protected Information?

"Protected information" is an umbrella term for information that is linked to an individual person's identity, such as Social Security numbers, drivers' license data, and credit card or bank account information (sometimes called Personally-Identifiable Information, or PII) and which can be used to facilitate identity theft. Universities in particular have become attractive targets for hackers because of the freedom with which information is exchanged in an educational environment. Chico State University, like other institutions, is legally required to be vigilant and proactive in the protection of PII that's been entrusted to us.

Data Classification and Protection Standards

Data Classification and Protection Standards have been developed by CSU, Chico to classify various types of information as outlined below:

  • Level 1 protected data: Confidential information governed by existing law or statute such as Social Security numbers and names, credit card numbers with cardholder names, or medical records related to an individual.
  • Level 2 private data: Internal use information that must be protected due to ethical or privacy concerns such as student grades, courses taken, or disciplinary actions.
  • Level 3 public (not protected) data: General information such as a person's title, email address, or other directory information that is available in the public domain.

Detecting Protected Information

The University is required to inventory protected information stored on campus systems. Beginning fall 2014, the campus will provide tools to help locate, protect, or delete confidential Level 1 protected data stored on University computers.

Handling Protected Data

If you find protected data on a system under your control, the following options are available to you:

Remember that CSU, Chico protected data may only be kept on campus systems.

Storage of Protected Data

Level 1 and Level 2 data must be protected.

Neither Level 1 Confidential data nor Level 2 Private data should be stored on university–owned personal computers (desktop or laptop), other electronic storage media (e.g., cd, DVD, or flash drive) or other electronic devices (e.g., mobile devices, smart phones, tablets) unless University data security requirements commensurate to the data classification level are met.  Level 1 and Level 2 data should be removed when the business justification for storage no longer exists, or when required by records retention schedule.  Level 2 Private data for students enrolled in the current semester may be stored on University and non-university owned computers during the current term only. At the end of the term, such data should be removed to an appropriate, secure archive medium and location or encrypted.

Systems and electronic storage devices used to store Level 1 Confidential or Level 2 Private must meet minimum CSU Chico, desktop security standards available here CSU, Chico mandated security standards. 

Level 1 Confidential data stored on university–owned computers (desktop or laptop), other electronic storage media (e.g., cd, DVD, or flash drive) or other electronic devices (e.g., mobile devices, smart phones, tablets) must be encrypted using University-approved encryption methods.

Under no circumstance should Level 1 Confidential data be stored on computers, other storage media, or other electronic devices not owned by the California State University, its auxiliaries or its foundations or centers. 

Cloud Storage

Cloud Computing Security - Cloud computing security, including Software as a Service (SaaS), makes use of the cloud computing infrastructure to deliver one application to many users, regardless of their location. Cloud storage of files can expedite collaboration and sharing of information, however users need to be aware that CSU, Chico explicitly forbids the storage of University Level 1 Protected Information and restricts the storage of Level 2 Private Information.

The following table outlines the data classification and proper handling of CSU, Chico data:

data storage table

Cloud Security Policy

CSU Chico Data Owners-Formal Delegation by Vice Presidents

CSU, Chico Records Series Custodians

The CSU record retention website identifies subject matter experts, who can answer questions related to the retention and disposition schedule for each record series. Campus questions related to the retention and disposition schedule should be directed to the records series custodians listed in the table below.

Schedule Series

Record Series Custodian

Current Name

1.0 Personnel/Payroll

AVP for Staff Human Resources

Sheryl Woodward

2.0 Fiscal

AVP for Financial Services

Stacie Corona

2.5 Budget

AVP for Budget and Operations

Jeni Kitchell

3.0 Environmental Health & Safety

Director, Environmental Health & Safety

Marvin Pratt

4.0 Student Records

University Registrar

Daniel Parks

5.0 Facilities

Director, Facilities Management and Services

Michael Guzzi

6.0 University Police

Chief of Police

John Reid

7.0 University Advancement

Director of Advancement Services and Annual Fund

Dwight Seuser

8.0 Academic Personnel

Int. Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs

Evanne O'Donnell

9.0 Curriculum & Accreditation

Int. AVP for Academic Programs

Kate McCarthy

10.0 Grants & Sponsored Programs

Vice Provost for Research

Richard Tafalla

11.0 Institutional Records

Chief of Staff

Brooke Banks

The following table lists the campus "Vital" Records Series and the identitfied custodians.

Records Series

Official Campus Custodian

Associated Students

AS Executive Director

Information Technology

Chief Information Officer

Research Foundation

RF Executive Director

Risk Management

Vice President for Business & Finance

Additional Resources and Related Information:

  • Data Protection. Data Protection Standards have been created to prevent the loss of personally identifiable information.
  • Data Classification and Protection Standards (PDF). Data Classification and Protection Standards have been developed to classify data and organize it according to its risk to loss or harm from disclosure.
  • Identity Finder. Identity Finder is a program that locates Protected Level 1 data in files such as Word, Excel, PDF, or email messages.
  • Secure Media Destruction. Guidelines for disposal and destruction of electronic media.
  • Shredding. Paper Shredding guidelines for protected data.