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Protecting Harvard confidential information is everyone's responsibility. Confidential information is used just about everywhere at Harvard. Regardless of whether you work with student, financial, employment, research, or donor information, the first step is to understand how your confidential information is classified in order to learn about the protections at each data classification level. Information with a higher risk classification will be accompanied by more stringent protections.

Confidential information may be classified from benign internal information that Harvard prefers to keep non-public up to the highest risk confidential information whose disclosure would undoubtedly cause severe damage to individuals or to the University.

To learn about protections for your data, start by viewing the Data Classification Table and the Policy Statements that apply to everyone, regardless of role. 

Once you know the classification level of your data, review the related Requirements. Harvard data classification levels apply consistently across administrative and research data. For more information about research data security policy and related requirements, review the Research Data Security Policy.

Questions? Ask your School Information Security Officer