University builds on privacy and information security practices

- Melanie Groves

As part of the university’s ongoing commitment to security, a number of new resources are available to help staff and faculty protect personal and sensitive information, and manage university records.

“The university takes its responsibility to protect privacy and security very seriously,” says Bill Trott, Chief Privacy Officer. “Over the past year we have strengthened our privacy and security protection by improving training and education, widening encryption practices, developing campus-wide standards and creating a new website as a one-stop shop for privacy and security resources.”

Trott encourages staff and faculty to review all information stored on portable devices, and to save only information that is essential. If you do keep sensitive information on your mobile devices, make sure it is encrypted or store it on a trusted university-managed server. Use a strong password and ensure backups are done regularly. Use a secure method to transfer personal information. If the information is not needed and is eligible for destruction, arrange for it to be securely destroyed.

Another important component of protecting personal privacy is to “think” before sending email. Avoid sending sensitive information by email if at all possible. If there is no other option, put sensitive information in an encrypted attachment rather than in the body of the email.

“All university employees also need to be vigilant about the physical security of our mobile devices,” says Tom Downie, director of campus security. “Keep your laptop, tablet or mobile phone out of sight in a locked cabinet if you are not taking it with you, and never leave equipment unattended.”

Report any information breaches or lost or stolen devices immediately to Campus Security Services at 250-721-7599.

The first annual report on privacy and security, Privacy, Records Management and Information Security at the University of Victoria: A Year in Review 2012-2103, is now available on the website of the University Secretary at

For tips, checklists and resources, visit the new website at

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Keywords: security

People: Bill Trott, Tom Downie

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