How does this work?

SAFIRE has been contracted by your university to negotiate with other education-related organisations (service providers) about the personal information that needs to be shared to confirm your rights when accessing their resources.

When visiting a participating service, you’ll typically see SAFIRE markings. To gain access to these external resources, you’ll need to log in and select your home institution from a drop-down list. You’ll then be redirected to your institutional log-in page where your username and password will then be confirmed.

Once you’re authenticated you’ll be shown a transfer notice with a summary of the information that will be shared with the service provider; we operate on a principle of minimality, which means that it’s kept to the bare essentials. And to put your mind further at ease — SAFIRE doesn’t store any of this information.

Click Yes or Continue and off you go — disagree, and the process automatically aborts. Unless you choose the “only this time” button, you only need to do this once per service provider (we use a cookie to remember that you’ve seen the notice, which you can clear at any stage if you change your mind).

The diagram below illustrates the flow of information and the various actors involved.

SAFIRE Login Process

SAFIRE Login Process

Can I trust it?

With cyber security increasingly a concern for internet users, this is the big question. And the answer is, yes.

Your personal information (which, remember, is kept to a minimum) is protected at all times. Your username and password are never sent anywhere else other than your home institution. When you connect with another institution through SAFIRE, we pass on only what is needed; this may be as simple as your name and department. And that information is kept secure by the other institution too – we make sure of it before making access possible.

The whole process is completely transparent about what’s happening to your personal information; at the end of the day, it’s your information, not ours, so we place control in your hands.

If you feel uncomfortable, you can read the privacy policy of the institution you’re logging into — we make this available on the personal information transfer notice page.

If you have any questions, talk to the IT staff at your institution. We’re all here to help.

South African Identity Federation