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Encrypting Files for Secure Sharing

If the content of the files you are sending contains PII, PHI, HIPAA, FERPA, or any other protected information, the files MUST be encrypted prior to uploading them to the file transfer service or sending them via email.

The guides below provide steps and links to the software required to adequately encrypt your files before sharing them, as well as steps for opening encrypted files.

Windows

Encrypt files with 7-Zip

If you do not have 7-Zip installed on your PC you can download it here.

  1. Select the files and/folders you wish to encrypt, then right-click on one of the selected files. From the menu that appears, select 7-Zip, then select Add to archive…

  2. A 7-Zip window will open. Make the following changes to properly encrypt your file(s). See the image below for reference.
    • Archive Format: zip
    • Enter password: <choose a strong password>
    • Encryption Method: AES-256
    • Click OK to create the encrypted zip archive.

      It is important to remember the password you chose to protect this file. If the password is forgotten the data in the zip file will not be accessible.

  3. The .zip file is now encypted and can be shared via filetransfer.uvm.edu

    Never send the password to your encrypted zip file via file transfer. It is important to keep the encrypted file and password separate.Instead, send file transfer recipient(s) the password in a separate email or message.

Open encrypted zip files with 7-zip

If you do not have 7-Zip installed on your PC you can download it here.

You must also know the password that was used to encrypt the files. If you do not know this password, please contact the sender.

  1. Locate the encrypted zip file, then right-click on the file. From the menu that appears, select 7-Zip, then select Extract files…
  2. A 7-Zip window will appear. Enter the password used to encrypt the file, then click OK
  3. The unzipped file will appear as a folder. The folder will be named similarly to that of the zip file, but will no longer have the .zip extension. Open the folder to access the files.

macOS

Encrypt files with Keka

If you do not have the Keka application installed on your mac, you can download it here.

  1. Open the Keka application.
    • choose ZIP as the format type
    • Enter a strong password
    • Check the “Use AES-256 encryption” option.

      It is important to remember the password you chose to protect this file. If the password is forgotten the data in the zip file will not be accessible.

  2. Select the files and folders you wish to add to the encrypted zip archive. Then drag and drop the files to the Keka window.
  3. The .zip file is now encypted and can be shared via filetransfer.uvm.edu

    Never send the password to your encrypted zip file via file transfer. It is important to keep the encrypted file and password separate.Instead, send file transfer recipient(s) the password in a separate email or message.

Open encrypted zip files with Keka

If you do not have the Keka application installed on your mac, you can download it here.

You must also know the password that was used to encrypt the files. If you do not know this password, please contact the sender.

  1. Locate the encrypted zip file, then right-click on the file. From the menu that appears, select Open With, then then choose Keka
  2. Enter the encryption password, then click Done
  3. The unzipped file will appear as a folder. The folder will be named similarly to that of the zip file, but will no longer have the .zip extension. Open the folder to access the files.

Updated on March 22, 2019

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