How to Send Restricted Information Securely
Did you know information can be stolen while being transferred from one place to another? Using secure methods to send information means there’s less chance of malicious people seeing data that if shared, can result in harm to an individual, the university or a third party.
What is restricted information?
Sensitive information with restriction guidelines in policy or law that regulate access and transmission of the data. Examples include:
- social insurance numbers
- banking information
- credit card numbers
- student records
Transmit your data securely by heeding a few recommendations:
Encrypt your emails
Email is not a secure form of communication as its contents can be intercepted en route to recipients. Emails accidentally sent to the wrong person is also a common privacy breach. If you have no other possible option but to send restricted data via email, be sure to use email encryption.
While Computing and Communications Services doesn’t provide support on how to use them, there are encryption products available:
- Secure PDFs with passwords (external link)
- Password protect Microsoft documents, workbooks, and presentations (external link)
- BitLocker drive encryption for some versions of Windows (external link)
- FileVault encryption for Macs (external link)
Verify caller identity over the phone
When communicating restricted data over the phone, be sure to verify the caller’s identity and ensure your conversation can’t be easily overheard by making your call in a private space and avoiding speakerphone.
Check your browser’s security
When browsing the web, look for whether the URL uses “https”. The S indicates secure, which means any information entered is encrypted during transmission, including your password.
Alternatively, check for a padlock icon in the address bar, to the left of the URL.
Secure shell (SSH) and secure file transfer (SFTP)
SSH is a secure terminal emulator used to login to a remote host that supports SSH. Use SSH (Secure Shell) and SFTP (Secure File transfer) to connect to the TMU web servers. Use SSH instead of Telnet for terminal access to TMU servers. Use SSH FTP instead of WS-FTP for secure FTP access to TMU servers.
Use VPN to transmit data
A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts data, creating a secure tunnel to transmit and access data. If you’re sending data to a remote system or service, ask if VPN is available for you and if you have a secure channel to transmit through.