Secure your USB & removable storage

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USB device

Considerations

Encrypt your USB device

As a general rule, you should not leave secure information on a USB or other portable storage device. If you do need to store sensitive data on a storage device, encrypt the device using PGP Whole Disk Encryption. In the event that your portable device is lost or stolen, Whole Disk Encryption will prevent an unauthorized third party from accessing your device's contents. If someone tries to break into your device to retrieve files, they will not be able to access any files without your passphrase. PGP Whole Disk Encryption is centrally supported by University Systems and provides benefits such as encrypting an entire portable hard drive, central management, policy enforcement, encryption key management, and recovery.

This software can be obtained from the Technology Solutions Centre. For software assistance, contact your Desktop Support Services personnel or the Computer Help Desk.

Do not store data on removable storage

When starting to assess the security of your data, discuss with your manager or supervisor whether it is absolutely necessary for you to store university data. The Information Security Classification Procedures outline how university data is classified, and the access restrictions that apply to these classifications. Sensitive university information should not be stored on a USB stick or other portable storage device.

Physical security of removable media

Do not store USB drives, external hard drives, DVDs, or other removable media in an open area. Instead, lock the device in an out-of-view area, such as a cabinet or desk drawer. Be sure to also keep the key in a secure location or on your person.

Secure disposal of removable media

Securely dispose of hard drives, USB sticks, DVDs, and other removable media with sensitive data. Contact your Desktop Support Services personnel or the Computer Help Desk if you have a hard drive or other data device that you need to dispose. Drives will be physically destroyed by shredding the device.