Using Grammarly with Sensitive Data: Important Guidelines


Grammarly is a popular tool that helps improve writing by offering suggestions for grammar, spelling, and style. While it is very useful, it’s important to use Grammarly carefully when dealing with sensitive information. Here’s what you need to know:

Conditional Approval of Grammarly

Grammarly is approved for use, but with an important condition: When working on documents with high risk data, Grammarly must be disabled. This is because Grammarly sends all the text you type to its servers for analysis, and this data is stored in their database. This can pose a risk if sensitive information is included.


  1. Sensitive Data: This is a broad term that encompasses any information that needs protection due to its confidential nature.

  2. High-Risk Data: A specific type of sensitive data that includes information which, if exposed, could cause significant harm or is legally protected. Examples are:

    1. Personal Data (PD): Educational records, health and medical information, credit card numbers, employment records.

    2. High-Risk Confidential Information (HRI): Social security numbers, credit or debit card information, financial account information, driver’s license numbers, state ID numbers, passport numbers, human subject information, personally identifiable medical information, biometric information.

What You Need to Do

  1. Identify high risk data:

Before using Grammarly, check if your document contains sensitive information. Sensitive data includes high risk information described below:

High Risk

High Risk

Personal data (“PD”) is a subset of confidential information that is information about people. Examples include

  • educational records,

  • health and medical information

  • credit card numbers

  • employment records.

A subset of personal data is classified as high-risk, either because the exposure of this information can cause harm or because the information is specifically protected under law.

High-risk confidential Information (“HRI”) includes an individual’s name in conjunction with the individual’s:

  • social security number

  • credit or debit card information

  • individual financial account information

  • driver's license number

  • state ID number

  • passport number

  • human subject information

  • personally identifiable medical information

  • biometric information.

In general one may think of high-risk confidential information as personal data associated with a name; extra care must be taken to protect high-risk confidential information in both electronic and paper form.

  1. Disable Grammarly for Sensitive Documents:

If your document contains high risk data, turn off Grammarly. This can be done by disabling the Grammarly browser extension or the desktop application.

  1. Use Alternative Tools:

For documents with sensitive information, use Microsoft’s integrated grammar and spell check tools instead of Grammarly. These tools do not send data to external servers, ensuring that sensitive information remains secure. Follow our internal guidelines for handling sensitive documents securely.

Application to Email:

While users cannot control the data they receive in emails, they can manage how they handle and respond to such data. The following guidance applies:

  1. Identifying High-Risk Data in Emails:

    1. Review incoming emails for any high-risk data as defined above.

    2. High-risk data often includes personal information combined with identifiable markers like names, social security numbers, financial information, etc.

  2. Disabling Grammarly When Responding:

    1. If an email contains high-risk data, disable Grammarly before composing your response to prevent data from being sent to Grammarly’s servers.

Forwarding or Sharing Emails:

  1. Before forwarding or sharing an email containing high-risk data, ensure Grammarly is disabled to prevent sensitive information from being transmitted to Grammarly’s servers.

  2. Use internal tools or methods for proofreading and sharing sensitive information securely.

How to Disable Grammarly

For Browser Extension:

  1. Click on the Grammarly icon in your browser.

  2. Toggle off Grammarly for the document you are working on.

For Microsoft Word:

  1. To hide disable Grammarly, hover over the Grammarly floating icon and click .

  2. Click 'Turn off Grammarly in Microsoft Word'.

    Hovering over the Grammarly icon reveals a button.

Why This Matters

Grammarly stores all text entered into its service on their servers. This means any high risk data you type could be at risk of being accessed or misused. Disabling Grammarly when working on sensitive documents ensures that this information remains secure.

Need Help?

If you’re unsure whether your document contains high risk data or need assistance in disabling Grammarly, our IT department is here to help. Contact us at


Grammarly is a great tool for improving your writing, but always remember to disable it when working with high risk data to keep our information secure. By following these guidelines, we can continue to benefit from Grammarly’s features while protecting our sensitive information.

For more information, please refer to our data storage and encryption standards and risk & classification standards or reach out to IT support.