Encryption is the process by which information is transformed into unreadable or non-plain text, through the use of a mathematical cipher. Both the data owner and other authorized parties can decrypt the information with the use of the known key or password. The use of encryption helps secure information while stored on a computer or other storage devices and during transmission between computers. By preventing unauthorized eavesdropping and file manipulation encryption provides a level of confidentiality and integrity.

Ithaca College’s anticipated Information Classification Policy outlines that Private/Compliant data must be encrypted if it resides anywhere other than institutionally owned servers and/or storage devices. This means Private/Compliant data stored on local machine hard drives, laptops, mobile devices, or portable media (e.g. CD,DVD, thumb drive, etc.) must be encrypted.

The anticipated classification policy also outlines that transmission must be encrypted for both Private/Compliant and Protected data sent to 3rd parties. This could be in the form of an email attachment, or the use of a secure transfer mechanism such as Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or Secure Shell (SSH).

The guides linked below outline encryption tools and methods that can easily meet the requirements of the anticipated Information Classification Policy. Please note there are guides for both the Windows and the Macintosh environments.


AES Crypt, see our Quick Guide