Tips and Tricks

Protection of SFU Data on Mobile Devices

January 29, 2013

If you are a TA, TM, or Sessional, you have a legal obligation to protect your students' personal information.

SFU's Chief Information Officer has just released a memo that outlines everything you must do to secure student data if you store it on a mobile device — laptops, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, USB drives or other storage media.

  • The preferred and recommended option is to store personal or confidential information only on secure University, faculty or departmental data servers.
  • However, personal information may be stored temporarily on a mobile digital device when there is a demonstrated need to do so. In such instances, and to appropriately manage the risks noted above, all SFU employees using mobile digital devices or digital storage media of any type must apply the following minimum, security standards ...
  • There may be a personal fine of $2,000 and an institutional fine of up to $500,000 for infractions.

Note: There have been a few high profile data breaches — the most recent was the loss of a hard drive containing personal data about Canada Student Loans recipients from 2000-2006. (Do follow that link if you held student loans in that time period.)

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