How WinRAR Can Be Used In Educational Institutions?

Large volumes of personal and sensitive data to protect, means that educational departments and institutions need a software that can compress files into smaller, more manageable files. Encryption and password protection can be used to keep them safe.

WinRAR meets all of these needs and more. The recovery record can recover data should any files become damaged, encryption adds that extra layer of protection to sensitive files and with its ability to open all of the most popular file formats, WinRAR is the most flexible compression tool on the market.

A Brief Introduction To WinRAR

WinRAR is a data compression and archiving tool. It can compress data into smaller, more manageable archives saving space and making them easier to share online or via email. WinRAR also acts as a virtual filing cabinet, storing files in one place in easy to access archives.

WinRAR archives can be encrypted and password protected to secure them against accidental modification.

WinRAR was developed by Eugene Roshal (Roshal Archive), and with its initial release in 1995, it is the original data compression and extraction tool, used by over 500 million users worldwide.

WinRAR has a loyal following and is one of the most popular and trusted compression utilities on the Windows platform.

WinRAR is officially known as trialware, providing users with a 40-day trial period.

After the 40 days, a license must be purchased to continue using WinRAR.

Data Leaks & The Threats They Pose

Data leaks pose a real threat to educational institutions such as schools and universities. Everything from grades to teacher evaluations are 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 targets of cyber-attacks, due to the huge 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.

Using Encryption In Educational Institutions

Encryption takes ordinary text (plaintext) and scrambles it into what appears to be unintelligible gibberish. Use of the right encryption key unscrambles the gibberish back into ordinary text that can be read as normal.

The use of a strong encryption algorithm, such as AES 256-bit, protects files stored at rest, in the cloud and also in transit. It also means that access to the files for staff and students is secure and easily implemented.

Here is a look at the various uses of encryption in educational institutions:

  • ENCRYPTION IN TRANSIT

Data that is sent across the internet or within an office network is referred to as "In Transit". Because this type of data can be easily intercepted and read, it is imperative to use encryption. This type of encryption is commonly known as end-to-end encryption and is used in many messenger services and email providers. It should be mandatory for any school or university.

  • ENCRYPTION AT REST

Saved emails, documents and other data on devices is known as “Data at Rest”. Lost laptops, tablets and smartphones pose huge problems for educational institutions, with them holding so much sensitive data. Encryption on these devices should also be mandatory and assists with fulfilling certain security criteria set out in various privacy laws, like the GDPR in the EU.

  • ENCRYPTION FILE LEVEL

File-level encryption takes each file on your computer, tablet, smartphone, laptop, etc and encrypts them separately. This ensures that all confidential information is only accessible to those with the correct encryption key. It means that the files are securely stored and can be securely 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.

How Can WinRAR Help?

WinRAR uses AES 256-bit as standard. It is easy to add encryption and password protection to an archive that can then be securely shared, stored or placed in the Cloud.

WinRAR can be set to make regular data backups, ensuring that all data files are kept up-to-date.

WinRAR offers the possibility to recover damaged data and can repair damaged archives.

WinRAR has huge storage capabilities and can store practically any number of files or practically any size. The limits depend on the file system and available memory.

WinRAR supports drag & drop, with the option of time-stamping archives to prevent accidental modification.

WinRAR’s Admin feature, allows schools and universities to set up controls and limit access to files containing sensitive information.

More than 25 years’ experience in the data compression field, with a dedicated and friendly support team.