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One Step Ahead: Privacy and Security Tips
September 26, 2006, Volume 53, No. 5

One Step Ahead

Another tip in a series provided by the Offices of Information Systems & Computing and Audit, Compliance & Privacy.

Your PennKey—and all the Reasons to keep it Private

You have often heard the strong caution, “don’t share your PennKey,” but you may not know why. Here are some important reasons.

First, your PennKey and your PennKey password protect your information. PennKey is the authentication system for logging on to self-service websites at Penn, including U@Penn, and viewing your own personnel data. Anyone with your PennKey and password can look up your pay, your dependents, and other information that you probably want to keep private!

Second, the PennKey system protects institutional data. Your PennKey is assigned to you and used to provide access to sometimes numerous systems based on your legitimate needs. Access is granted to you—and not to others. If you need to give an assistant access to a particular system, for example, to your e-mail, contact your Local Support Provider to open a proxy account for your assistant for that e-mail account only. That way, you will achieve what you need without opening up other systems and data to someone who is not authorized for access.

Finally, asking another individual to take training or certify compliance using your PennKey is dishonest—it does not qualify as compliance for you or for Penn. Do not ask someone else to electronically “sign” for you using PennKey, and if you are asked to use someone else’s PennKey, just say “no”!  Call 1-888-BEN-TIPS if you have questions or concerns.


For additional tips, see the One Step Ahead link on the Information Security website: www.upenn.edu/computing/security/.


Almanac - September 26, 2006, Volume 53, No. 5