Glossary of Terms

Encryption Systems

Encryption systems hide information and prevent its inadvertent access or unauthorised disclosure. They do this by using a complex series of mathematical algorithms (steps) to change the data such that it cannot be used without access to the key.

Personal Information

In this context means any information that, according to the ICO, "the loss of which could cause damage or distress to individuals." That is living identifiable individuals and includes pseudonymised data (i.e. identified by codes). In practice in the University this means individual identity information (e.g. name, date of birth, address), financial details, academic information (e.g. exam results).

Portable computer

This includes any type of computing device that would be carried (e.g. laptops, handheld computers (PDAs), some mobile phone devices).

Portable media

This includes any media that is used to transport or backup data (e.g. CD-ROM disks, removable magnetic media (floppy disks, portable hard disks), memory sticks.