Privacy and Information Security

The UBC Privacy Matters initiative offers lots of information about what personal information we need protect and how to protect it.  Please have a look at

Enforced computer locking

We have found that employees often leave their computers logged on, when they leave the office. Sometimes they come right back, other times they are delayed by impromptu hallway meetings or have simply gone home for the night. This practice leaves personal information, personal health information, other files and e-mail exposed.

We now have a setting available that can be enforced on Psychiatry IT supported Windows computers that will turn on a screen saver, after 10 minutes and requires the computer logon password to unlock. The screen saver (or black screen) is still the computer users choice.

Please let us know, if you would like it enabled for your division/program/lab, a subset of your division/program/lab or individual users.

Choosing a password

A quick web search will provide quite a bit of advice about choosing a strong password.  Psychiatry IT often recommends using the Schneier Scheme.

Take a sentence and turn it into a password. Something like “This little piggy went to market” might become “tlpWENT2m”. That nine-character password won’t be in anyone’s dictionary. Of course, don’t use this one, because it’s here in public.  Choose your own sentence — something personal.

Here are some examples:

  • WIw7,mstmsritt… = When I was seven, my sister threw my stuffed rabbit in the toilet.
  • Wow…doestcst = Wow, does that couch smell terrible.
  • Ltime@go-inag~faaa! = Long time ago in a galaxy not far away at all.
  • uTVM,TPw55:utvm,tpwstillsecure = Until this very moment, these passwords were still secure.

You get the idea. Combine a personally memorable sentence with some personally memorable tricks to modify that sentence into a password to create a lengthy password.