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.


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.


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. To request access you can contact Hyon Kim and provide your email address and a (extremely short) justification. Be sure you know who you’re sharing with before posting.

Password-protected file

Follow the linked instructions to password-protect a:

  • PDF
  • ZIP (which can be a folder full of files)

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