Network Security and Protecting Personal Information

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Question

How does the FTC protect my personal information and its network?

Answer

We use security measures to protect your personal information and to control access to it, including safeguarding and monitoring our network and controlling access to our files, equipment, and buildings. We use Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption to protect the transmission of the information you give us when you use our secure online forms. Please use caution when emailing the FTC sensitive information such as a Social Security numbers or bank account numbers. Although the FTC’s email system supports TLS encryption, a secure transmission depends on the encryption settings of the sender’s email service as well. Instead, we encourage consumers providing sensitive information to contact us by using our secure online forms or by phone.

One way the FTC protects its information systems is by participating in a program run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The program, EINSTEIN, monitors network traffic to detect malicious activity. Electronic communications within the FTC may be scanned by government-owned or contractor equipment to look for network traffic indicating known or suspected malicious cyber activity, including malicious content or communications. Electronic communications with the FTC will be collected or retained by DHS only if they are associated with known or suspected cyber threats. DHS will use the information collected through EINSTEIN to analyze the known or suspected cyber threat and help the FTC and other agencies respond and better protect their computers and networks. For additional information on the EINSTEIN program, please see DHS’s website.