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An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Sensitive information

Here’s what you need to know about sensitive information at TTS.

What is considered sensitive?

To learn what information we consider sensitive, see our Open Source Policy practices guide.

Tools

TTS offers a few different tools for protecting sensitive information. As you learned in your Security Awareness and Privacy training in GSA Online University (OLU), only share sensitive information with the people who absolutely need it and are authorized to see it.

Git Seekret

To prevent committing sensitive data to your Git repository, install git-seekrets and pre-commit hooks. Please install the git-seekrets binary, which prevents the committing of certain sensitive information to your Git repository. Examples include environment variables and private configuration data.

Refer to the official installation guide for Git Seekrets. You can use the installed binary with either the command-line or with the GitHub Desktop interface.

Git Seekret does verification of the current files that will be committed to your repository using the git precommit-hook. This runs for every commit and will not allow you to commit your changes if any secrets are found.

To contribute regular-expressions to match new rules, see the documentation.

Google Drive

You can use GSA Google Drive to share sensitive files, spreadsheets, and documents. This includes personally identifiable information (PII) of either federal staff or the public, but it does not include classified information of any kind. If you’re handling PII, be absolutely sure you are only sharing Drive files with GSA staff and that those staff members have a direct need for the information.

OMB MAX

You can use OMB MAX to share sensitive files (in appropriate “workspaces” within MAX). We typically use MAX for working with partners who don’t have access to — or who don’t feel comfortable putting the information in — Google Drive. Some workspaces in MAX are available to private organizations (for example, cloud service providers in the FedRAMP workspaces) and many other government agencies. Anyone with a @gsa.gov email can self-register on Max.gov; register your HSPD-12/PIV card or set up 2-factor authentication via SMS. Max.gov document sharing uses Confluence so you may need to read Max.gov’s documentation on how to manage permissions and upload documents.

Be sure you know who you need to share with before posting. Only .gov/.mil/.fed.us users can self-register to Max.gov; other email domains can be individually granted access, but you’ll have to personally sponser them by making a request to MAXsupport@omb.eop.gov.

Cloud.gov

You can create an S3 service instance on cloud.gov and issue credentials for partners to access it. See interacting with your S3 bucket.

Password-protected file

Follow the linked instructions to password-protect a:

Send the encrypted file and password to the recipient separately, with the latter ideally through something ephemeral like a phone call.