Indian Health Service, The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Frequently Asked Questions

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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 is accessible from any Internet connected PC. The service is FIPS 140-2 compliant aand meets all regulatory and federal security requirements pertaining to the secure transmission of sensitive, non-classified information.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.