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  Securing Exam or Other Critic Files

  Basic Security Procedures

Protecting critic files, such as exam files before examinations take place is a critical task for teachers and any staff involved in the exams process. Securing an exam hard copy depends upon having a safe cabinet and a good locker. Securing an exam soft copy may be more difficult than that.

Exam files may be placed in password-protected folders or security can be assured by copying the file to a floppy disk or a CD and deleting information from the hard disk. In this way, they must be treated as hard copies and kept in a safe cabinet.

  Things to Avoid

It's highly insecure to send exam files through email. If you need to share exam fil with colleagues, use a floppy disk or a CD instead, as mentioned above.

Never leave the office computer unattended. Enable password protection in the Screen Saver, shut down the computer or lock the office door even if you'll stay away just for a few minutes.

  Using Passwords
  MS Office applications provide the option for securing the files with a password. In Tools ---> Options click the Security tab to define a password to open the file. However, using passwords for protecting files may be not sufficiently safe, as there are software and websites that offer password recovering/breaking services.

An extra security procedure regarding exam or other critic files is to use encryption to hide them.

How does encryption works? This article, from the US-CERT website provides a brief overview of the process: Understanding Encryption

On Windows 2000, it is possible to encrypt files/folders in NTFS Volume. Right-click the file/folder you wish to encrypt, choose Properties, click Advanced and check the box next to Encrypt. However, this will not hide the file/folder from any user who logs into your computer as "Administrator".

If you need a more advanced encryption system, you may install the open source TrueCrypt software. This creates a virtual encrypted disk on the computer that is only accessible through a password. Critic files may be safely kept in the computer and will be invisible to any other user.

Last updated: by Computer Service Centre.