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Privacy and Security


Student privacy

Student Accounts is often asked to disclose financial information surrounding a student's account by parents and others so they can make accurate tuition payments.
University policy recognizes the financial account as belonging to the student and therefore, in order to protect student privacy, account information is considered confidential.

Authorizing access to your account

If you wish to grant permission for financial information to be released to a third party (such as a parent), you can request authorization by sending an email to Student.Accounts@dal.ca from your official Dalhousie e-mail address.

In your request, you must include:
  • Your full name
  • Dalhousie ID (Banner number)
  • Name of the third party, individuals or organizations you are authorizing.

Security

Payments are made through Skipjack Financial Services’ secure payment gateway.

Skipjack places the highest priority on the protection of its customers' confidential data. The importance of data security led Skipjack to develop its own patent-pending encryption technology (skipjackIC) to ensure that our customers' data is not compromised.

SkipjackIC (SJIC) is not a public key solution such as PGP and RSA. With SJIC, each transaction carries its own key enfolded within it. This means that, in the unlikely event that one transaction is compromised, the information gained cannot be used to compromise another transaction, since each key is unique to each transaction.

One measure of security is the size of the key space (i.e. the range of possible values of a numeric key). The larger the key space, the more difficult it is to discover the correct key. To get a sense of the scale of SJIC, compare it to PGP or RSA that support a key space of 2 to the 2048th power (note: key space is often referred to as "XXX bit" encryption; for example, "40 bit" encryption. This means that there are 2 to the 40th power possible values for the key).

By comparison, SJIC supports a minimum key space of 225 to the 2000th power. That is an almost unimaginable number, comparable perhaps to the number of atoms in the universe! So, right from the start, your credit card transactions are protected by the strongest encryption protocol in the industry.