Given the sensitive data admissions offices often work with, having a secure method to transfer files is essential. In this article, we will go over what SFTP and FileZilla are, how to connect to FileZilla, and using Data Connectors in Element451 to complete the set-up.
What are SFTP and FileZilla?
SFTP (or Secure File Transfer Protocol) is a way to transfer your sensitive files over a Secure Shell (or SSH) network, which essentially means that the data is encrypted. Transferring files simply through FTP or other methods can make your data very vulnerable. FileZilla is a free application that facilitates File Transfer Protocols, including SFTP. If you would like more technical information about SFTP, you can read up on it here.
Setting up SFTP
First, install FileZilla by going to https://filezilla-project.org/. Choose the gray box that reads "Download FileZilla Client - All Platforms." Proceed to download based on your operating system.
Run the installer file from your Downloads folder, ignoring messages and declining offers from other softwares, and then open FileZilla.
Click on Site Manager under File. Select the New Site button. A box asking for additional information will appear.
In the Protocol dropdown menu, choose the SFTP – SSH File Transfer Protocol option. Put in the Username and Password that you use for Element451. The Host is your domain name (such as “name.element451.com"), the Port is 22, and the Logon Type should be set to Normal. Click Connect.
You will see an Unknown Host Key prompt appear. This is normal “Trust on First Use” behavior. Check the box to Always trust this host, add this key to the cache.
After following these steps, you will see a success message appear in the status dialog box and your new directory folder will appear in the Remote Sites partition of FileZilla (middle right-hand frame). This folder is where you will upload your files for secure transfers.
Now go to your Element451 account. Hover over the icon for Data near the bottom of the toolbar on the left and click on Data Connectors. Click on Add Data Connectors (at the bottom of the page if this is the first one or the blue "plus" symbol at the top right of the page if you already have one) and select SFTP.
Add the Name and input the same Host, Username, and Password that you used to set up the Protocol in FileZilla. You're all set!