Section Content

Information Security for Professors and TAs


Teaching assistants regularly access sensitive student data while performing their duties and responsibilities. It is important to ensure the protection of this data in accordance to federal laws and UH executive policy.

Protect Student Data

The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and UH Executive Policies E2.214 and E2.215 protect student data from unauthorized disclosure. Anyone who interacts and access student data that's not considered directory information (name, major, class, activities, weight and height (for athletes), status, degrees, honors) needs to be protected.

Student data that must be protected includes (but not limited to):

  • Grades
  • Personal information (UH Username, Address, Phone Number, ID Number, Photos, Date of Birth)
  • Social Security Number
  • Drivers License number or Hawaii Identification card number
  • Financial Account Information
  • Financial Aid Information (FAFSA)

Teaching assistants regularly interact with student grades and student profiles and notes. Student grades and teaching notes about students are private and should only be disclosed to the student or the professor.

Protect this information by doing the following:

  • Lock physical records away in a secure area (cabinets, drawers, etc.) when not in use. This includes grades, graded papers, and notes about students.
  • Don't leave personal information out while you're away. Follow a "clean desk" policy.
  • Use UH Filedrop https://www.hawaii.edu/filedrop to send protected data to someone else.
  • Destroy or de-identify private information when you no longer need it. Shred physical files and permanently delete digital files.
  • Use a secure password for your laptop login. Don't write it down and store it physically.
  • Enable password protection on the lockscreen.
  • Lock your laptop screen when you walk away from the device.
  • Don't make unnecessary copies of institutional data.
  • Beware of shoulder surfing. Be careful of students looking over your shoulder to see confidential information.

General Laptop Security

  • Don't leave your laptop unattended.
  • Keep your laptop up to date with security patches for the Operating System and software.
  • Set a lockscreen timeout (5-10 minutes). This will automatically lock your screen if you leave your laptop unlocked and idle.
  • Set a password for your laptop account. Be sure to use a secure password.
  • Lock your screen when you are not using your laptop.
  • When deleting protected information, empty the trash (Macs) or the recycling bin (Windows) to permanently delete the files.
  • Encrypt devices or folders that hold protected data.

Federal Regulations


University of Hawai‘i Policies