Online Security Information/Tips

Trellis and its employees take very seriously the privacy of your personal information. In addition to providing its Privacy Notice, Trellis has developed the following online security tips that you can use to help protect your information.

  • Remember to log off from any website you have logged into.
  • Close all open browser sessions before leaving your computer unattended.
  • Shut down or lock your computer when you are not using it.
  • Make sure your password is strong. A strong password:
    • Is at least seven characters long.
    • Does not contain your user name, real name, or company name.
    • Does not contain a complete word.
    • Is significantly different from previous passwords.
    • Contains characters from each of the following four categories:
      • Uppercase letters — A, B, C
      • Lowercase letters — a, b, c
      • Numbers — 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
      • Symbols found on the keyboard (all keyboard characters not defined as letters or numerals) and spaces — ` ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ – + = { } [ ] \: ; ” ‘ < > , . ? /
  • Change your password regularly, at least every 90 days.
  • Select security challenge questions and provide answers that you can remember, but would be difficult for others to guess.
  • Never write down or share your user ID, password, or challenge questions/answers.
  • Be conscious of NPI or Non-Public Personal Information online, as well as off-line. Tips to remember about NPI:
    • Always shred documents that contain personal or financial information.
    • Email is not a secure means of communication. Think of it as a postcard going through the post office — anyone can see the message.
    • Always encrypt email that contains NPI before sending.

Encrypted Email at Trellis

Managing electronic information has become a visible and highly regulated activity. Breaches of information and changes in federal and state laws have all changed the way companies handle and transmit information. Trellis is taking several actions in a continuing effort to ensure that our corporation’s data, customer information, and student/parent confidential and personal information remains secure.

To protect the privacy of non-public personal information (NPI) sent via email, Trellis secures outbound email messages containing NPI through email encryption, using a Cisco Systems® product or Transport Layer Security (TLS). The Cisco software is capable of identifying and encrypting email sent from Trellis that may contain NPI based on parameters set by Trellis. This includes, but is not limited to, Social Security numbers and account numbers. TLS is used to encrypt email automatically if the receiving email server can accept the encrypted session.

Email encryption software is designed to protect email messages in one of two ways: by making them undecipherable as they are transmitted over the Internet (TLS), or by enclosing the data in a secure “envelope” which only the recipient can open, using a password (Cisco).

As modern technology makes it more efficient to conduct transactions over the Internet, more consumers are taking advantage of the convenience. However, unsecured email transmissions can be intercepted, potentially exposing individuals to fraud or identity theft, particularly if the messages include NPI.

Although no approach is error-proof, email encryption significantly lessens the opportunity to intercept email messages containing sensitive or personal information as they are transmitted over the Internet.

The recipient of a Cisco product encrypted email from Trellis may receive a message in their email inbox with an attachment. The message includes an envelope graphic as well as the Trellis corporate logo with a block where the recipient may enter a password. In the first encrypted email, there is also a link to register.

In registering, the recipient chooses a password and security questions, which would be used to help reset the recipient’s password in the event the password is ever lost. The Cisco product can also “remember” the recipient’s information, making it unnecessary to provide the password when receiving other encrypted emails from Trellis.

The attachment, which is a link to an HTML page with the text of the email, is stored in the recipient’s local email account. The email can be forwarded, saved, or printed just like any other email; the text of the attachment can be copied and pasted. Neither the email nor its attachment is stored at Trellis or on the Cisco Systems servers.

Trellis remains committed to providing the highest level of customer service, and this includes using available technology designed to protect non-public personal information transmitted via the Internet.

This page has been created to provide information regarding email encryption and its use at Trellis. If you have any questions about the Cisco Systems product or use, please visit the Cisco Systems website:

Email Encryption Glossary

Clear-Text — Information that has not been encrypted. For example, when an email sent from Trellis is encrypted, a notification email is sent to the recipient in clear-text format with instructions on how to access secure encrypted messages.

Encryption — The conversion of data into a form called ciphertext (encrypted data), that cannot be read without decrypting it using the proper key.

Decryption — The process of converting encrypted data (ciphertext) back into its original form (clear text), so it can be understood.

Key or Encryption Key — The unique code which encrypts and decrypts messages.

NPI or Non-Public Personal Information — Information which is not public and which identifies a specific individual or financial relationship of that individual. Generally, NPI is considered to be Social Security numbers, account numbers, addresses and telephone numbers if they are not listed, names and other identifying information. The definition of what constitutes NPI may vary from state to state, from agency to agency, or from business to business. Subcategories include non-public health information and non-public financial information.

General Information

Phone: (800) 252-9743


Phone: (800) 222-6297

Fax: (512) 219-4739

Hours: Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time, Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time

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Trellis Collections
P.O. Box 659602
San Antonio, TX 78265-9602