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Educational institutions, such as schools and universities, are facing new challenges when it comes to data protection and the prevention of data leaks. Everything from grades to teacher evaluations is stored on computers and in the cloud. Teachers and administrators must use their good judgement to implement password protection securely. Anytime data is moved, shared, or placed in unprotected storage, it is at risk. Educational institutions are increasingly becoming the targets of cyber-attacks because of the vast amounts of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) they must process — everything from credit card details, phone numbers, passport numbers, and social security information. The impact of a data breach on a school or university can be catastrophic.
Data encryption makes data unreadable to anyone without the correct encryption key. Encrypted data is referred to as ciphertext; it looks like a scrambled mess of letters and numbers to someone who doesn’t have the right key to transform it back into readable plaintext.
Using a strong encryption algorithm, such as FIPS-compliant AES 256-bit encryption technology protects data files stored at rest, in the cloud and also in transit. It also means that access to the data files for staff and students is secure and easily implemented.
Let’s take a look at the various uses data encryption can have in educational institutions:
Sending data via email across the internet or within office networks is known as Data in Transit. This data is easily intercepted, making it essential to encrypt it before sending. Typically, this type of encryption is referred to as end-to-end encryption and can be commonly found in many messenger services and email providers.
Documents, emails, and other data stored on devices are classed as Data at Rest. Immense problems occur when laptops, tablets, and smartphones are lost or stolen because they hold so much sensitive data. Mandatory encryption on these portable devices can help prevent data from being hijacked and also helps educational institutions remain compliant with privacy regulations such as the GDPR.
To ensure that confidential data is only made accessible to those with the correct encryption key, separately encrypting each file stored on laptops, computers, and in the cloud prevents any accidental file modification. The files remain stored securely and can also be safely shared. Long and difficult passwords should be used, along with a trusted password manager. Administrators should be employed, so that only they have access to password settings and management.
FIPS-compliant AES 256-bit encryption technology is used within WinRAR to add encryption and password protection to archives, making them safe to share and store.
Use WinRAR to make regular backups, keeping sensitive data files up-to-date.
Recover lost or damaged archives with WinRAR’s built-in Recovery Record.
With the capacity to store practically any number of files, WinRAR’s storage capabilities are enormous.
WinRAR comes with the option to time-stamp archives, avoiding unintentional modification or erasure of data.
WinRAR’s Admin feature allows schools and universities to set up controls and limit access to files containing sensitive information.
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