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ChristineAhern
New Member

Using Canvas for Faculty Tax Documents (W9) - Secure?

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Hello, 
We’re looking for a secure way for faculty to send us IRS W9 forms. Is Canvas secure enough for this, where a document will include a social security number? 
Thanks for any help!
Christine

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nmbucklein
Community Team
Community Team

Hi @ChristineAhern 

As a Canvas Representative, I would not recommend putting such personal information within a Canvas course. One more secure option would be to have this information sent through the Canvas inbox, as that would be more secure. 

However, the most secure option may be to have this hosted outside of our software. 

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5 Replies
SusanNiemeyer
Community Contributor

I can't speak about Canvas's security, but as an instructor, I would find it very strange for my institution to request sensitive information over a learning management system. My response would be "Huh? Really? Canvas? I don't think so." 

The Canvas Inbox is really just for instructor-student communication.

nwilson7
Community Champion

@ChristineAhern  I agree with @SusanNiemeyer, while it might be "secure" I would not not consider it a good option as too many other people would have access to this information.  For example, anyone who is a Canvas admin for your institution, not to mention everyone that works at Instructure.  

-Nick

ChristineAhern
New Member

Thanks to you both. I don't like it very much either, but I was curious to hear from others. If Canvas is secure enough to protect college level grades, I wondered if it could be used this way. Especially since all the faculty are already in the system. All our faculty are in a faculty "course" and we were thinking of making an "assignment" for them to upload the W9. We WON'T do this, but I kind of wish we could....

SusanNiemeyer
Community Contributor

Are these instructors learning the ropes of using Canvas? Why not pick a non-sensitive item for them to upload?

I teach in a large community college. Our IT department works very hard to root out phishing scams, but we occasionally get bogus requests for sensitive information. Because there's always a handful of instructors who don't catch on, our institution has required us to take an training course in online security. If I were to get a request for an IRS document through my college's email system, I would be immediately suspicious. 

nmbucklein
Community Team
Community Team

Hi @ChristineAhern 

As a Canvas Representative, I would not recommend putting such personal information within a Canvas course. One more secure option would be to have this information sent through the Canvas inbox, as that would be more secure. 

However, the most secure option may be to have this hosted outside of our software.