Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the IHS Secure Data Transfer Service?

A. The IHS Secure Data Transfer Service is a tool to transfer data securely between recipients whether they reside inside the IHS or not. The site https://securedata.ihs.gov is accessible from any Internet connected PC.

Q. Who is able to create and send data through the IHS Secure Data Transfer Service?

A. This service is a "value-added" benefit of the IHS Central Email Service(CES) and therefore only users of the CES base email service can originate data transfers to other persons inside and/or outside of the IHS. Persons receiving data transfers from a CES user are afforded the ability to use the system as a receiver and correspondent to the transfers you send them. Users without an IHS mailbox can only receive and reply to secure deliveries originated from a user with an IHS mailbox.

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Q. Do I need to install any specific software to use the IHS Secure Data Transfer Service?

A. No special software is required to use this service beyond a web browser, and it is compatible with of Internet Explorer 7+, Firefox 3+, and Safari 3+ web browsers. Although not required, please note that in order to utilize the Java applet for file upload/download, Java Runtime Edition (JRE) 6 Update 24 or higher is required.

Q. Does the IHS Secure Data Transfer Service support sending to distribution groups or outside lists such as those on a ListServ?

A. The IHS CES Team strongly discourages sending secure data to groups or lists because of a number of potential problems this can cause. There are some scenarios in which sending to email distribution groups will work correctly if the group is in the IHS email Global Address List (GAL), but again we suggest listing each intended users individually.

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Q. When I am logged in to the IHS Secure Data Transfer Service with my IHS user account and I try to change my password by going to "Personal Preferences" → "Change Password", why do I get the message "You do not have sufficient privilege to view this page?"

A. Because this service is integrated with the IHS Active Directory, IHS user account administration is handled outside of this tool. The "Change Password" functionality is only intended for non-IHS users who have created an account to access this service. If you need assistance with changing your IHS account password, please contact your local IT support.

Q. What is my quota limit on the IHS Secure Data Transfer Service?

A. Each user is given a default quota of 500 Megabytes (MB) of space. That means that either a user can send 1 large file or many small files until the total amount of data stored is 500MB. If a user runs out of space, they can manage the other data stored by logging in and going to the "Manage Packages"; section.

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Q. Can my quota be expanded if I exceed my default 500MB limit?

A. Quotas can be expanded for a period of time should there be a business requirement to do so. Requests will be handled on a case by case basis and should be sent through support@ihs.gov.

Q. How long is my secure data retained on the service? Does the data get deleted after certain amount of time?

A. By default, data sent through the IHS Secure Data Transfer Service is accessible for 30 days, after which it will be automatically deleted from the service. You will receive a notification email 7 days prior to automatic deletion of any data you have sent. If you would like the data to be removed prior to 30 days, you can either delete the data by logging in and going to the "Manage Packages"; section of the website or by going to the "Show Options" section and setting the "Date expires" option when sending the secure data.

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Q. How do I allow recipients to "Reply to all" recipients of an Express Delivery that I sent through the IHS Secure Data Transfer Service?

A. By default, recipients of data sent through the IHS Secure Data Transfer Service can only reply to you the sender. If you would like to allow recipients to reply to all recipients, once logged in go to the "Show Options" section when creating a new Express Delivery and check the box to "Allow collaboration." When "Allow collaboration" is enabled, a recipient of the data has an additional button is available that allows the user to "Reply securely to all", which creates a threaded discussion viewable by everyone in the original submission. Files uploaded can be viewed and downloaded by everyone, and the user replying has the option to toad additional files to the discussion. NOTE: With this enabled it is important to note that files saved to the discussion can potentially overwrite existing files in the discussion if the filenames match.

Q. Can I send something through the IHS Secure Data Transfer Service and not require recipients to logon to retrieve it?

A. By default, all data sent through the service requires the recipients to logon to retrieve it. To disable the need for recipients to logon to retrieve the data, select the "Show Options" section when creating a new Express Delivery and uncheck the box to "Require recipients to sign in." NOTE: This should only be used when the data you are sending is not sensitive in nature and you would be comfortable should anyone get access to the link to the data.

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Q. When I click on a link in a previously received SDTS notification message, why do I receive a message that a "Problem was encountered" and that "The delivery you are requesting could not be retrieved?"

A. This message is received if you select a link in an older SDTS notification message and the secure delivery has expired and/or has been deleted. By default, secure deliveries sent within the SDTS expire and are deleted after 30 days. If you receive this error message, simply select the "Back to Your Deliveries" link and you will be taken to a screen showing all your currently valid secure deliveries.

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Content last reviewed 3/2014.