Information Security

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Information Security Awareness: Instructions and Helpful Information


Restricted information (sensitive data, PHI, PII) should not be stored on a local computer (i.e., desktop, laptop, smartphone, etc.). If restricted information must be stored on one of these devices, then local encryption should be used. Additionally, any transfer of data must be transferred using cryptographic methods.

  • How to Determine if your Computer is Encrypted?
    • Windows
    • MAC OS X
    • No encryption software?  If you do not see any of these encryption applications on your computer, please stop using your computer immediately and contact UCSDH IS Help Desk at 619-543-7474.

Suggestions for Protecting Data

  • Encrypting computer hard drives, files, or removable drives
  • Bit Locker - Used for encrypting the entire file system or removable drives on a Windows computer. It is built into the operating system and runs on Windows Vista and later OS versions (Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10).
  • TrueCrypt (link is external) - Used to create a virtual encrypted disk to store files in, encrypt an entire partition, or the entire storage device (pre-boot authentication, under Microsoft Windows except Windows 2000). TrueCrypt can also be used to encrypt removable disks (USB drives, CDs, DVDs). Runs on a MacOS or Windows system.
  • Transferring data securely

Encrypted Protocols: Data in Transit

It is important that data in transit only be transferred using encrypted protocols such as:

  • HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) – provides Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption to standard HTTP communications
  • SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol)
  • SCP (Secure Copy)
  • IPSEC VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection using point-to-point encryption   
  • Tools to support the data transfer protocols above:
    • WinZip – Can be used with the AES encryption mode to securely transfer and store files.
    • Adobe Professional PDF file with strong (complex) password or passphrase
    • Email Encryption

How to Encrypt Your Device