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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

  New Resources
Travel Tips for Data Security
Free Security/Privacy Training Resources
Two-step verification
Combating Malware
Phishing Archive
Cloud Computing and Data Outsourcing
Best Practices for Applications with Confidential University Data
  Security "Greatest Hits"
Managing Passwords
E-mail Harassment & Forgery
Hoaxes, frauds & scams
Wireless Networking
Encryption & digital signatures
  Best Practices
Secure desktop computing
Secure servers
Secure data deletion
Securing printers
Tips for safe computing
Computing policies
  More in-depth information for
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  Security initiatives
Critical host compliance
Authentication & authorization
Penn Security & Privacy Assessment (SPIA)
Security Liaisons (Restricted Access)
Secure Share
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Vulnerability Scanner
  Related links
Electronic privacy
Worms, trojans, backdoors

One Step Ahead: Almanac Security Tips - 2014

In each issue, Penn's Journal of Record, The Almanac publishes helpful tips and hints for dealing with information security and privacy matters. This page is a collection of all those published thus far.
New! You can now receive new One-Step-Ahead Security and Privacy Tips automatically!
You can subscribe via Email or RSS.

Table of Contents (view all)

Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability
Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers
Filing Taxes Online This Year? Take Steps to Protect Your Information!
If your computer runs Windows XP, you must update it now!
Why Should You Report Security Incidents? And How Do You Report One?
Photo and Video Privacy Issues
The Password is Dead, Long Live the Password!
Data Privacy Month: NSA Surveillance Panel at the National Constitution Center
Protecting Your Finances During This Year’s Holiday Shopping Season
Beware of Phishing E-mails in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
No E-mail from Penn Will Ask For Your Username/Password or SSN
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Does It Apply to Your Website?
October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month; Free Secure Disposal of Paper and Electronics
What Basic Rules Protect Student Information at Penn? (September 2013)
Protecting Privacy and Security on Penn + Box

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - Almanac Vol. 60, No. 6

What Basic Rules Protect Student Information at Penn? (September 2013)

For starters, it's important to know about FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. FERPA is a federal law that provides certain rights to students and imposes certain obligations on University faculty and staff - all regarding the privacy of "education records", or student record information.

At Penn, FERPA's requirements are incorporated in our Policy on the Confidentiality of Student Records, which can be viewed at

The policy states that in general, University faculty and staff may not disclose personally identifiable information from a student's records except with the student's written consent. One common exception allows for sharing with school officials with "legitimate educational interests" - in other words, where the information would be helpful in the performance of official duties. This very important provision allows Penn faculty and staff to access the student information they need to perform their jobs.

In general, you may not share student records with parents or guardians. There are some exceptions though, including when there is a health or safety emergency, in which case you must work with VPUL and your Dean's office before contacting a parent. You may also share with parents or guardians if the student has provided consent. Consult the Student Records System (SRS) or Advisor in Touch to determine if a student has consented to sharing his or her information with parents or others. You can also ask students to set their privacy choices electronically in the Penn Portal or via a paper consent form.

Visit the Penn Privacy website ( FERPA page and check out the 'Frequently Asked Questions' resource and more. Questions about student privacy can be addressed to


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