MedSIS: Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQ’s, terms, conditions, and agreements apply to all MedSIS users.
Please read each of these components carefully:

MedSIS FAQ’s:


What is MedSIS?
MedSIS is an Internet based Registration service for Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) Trainees enrolled or enrolling for training through the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine and its associated training hospitals.

Is MedSIS Mac compatible?
MedSIS is Mac compatible with Firefox. Please go to: http://www.mozilla.com/firefox to download.
Kindly do not use other types of browsers (Netscape, Opera, Safari, MS Internet Explorer, etc.).

Who uses MedSIS?
MedSIS is an online application for use by University of Toronto undergraduate medical (MD) students, teachers in the Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) program, and administrative staff associated with the program directly or indirectly. Each user’s access is determined and maintained centrally by UME. Please contact the MedSIS & Evaluations Administrative Coordinator at the UME office at medsis@knowledge4you.com or 905-947-9924 x253 if you have questions about your account.


Who provides MedSIS service?
MedSIS, an Internet service, is offered by the Undergraduate Medical Education Office of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada.


Where is MedSIS service available?
As an online application, MedSIS can be accessed around the globe; however, MedSIS service is restricted to legitimate users as identified by Undergraduate Medical Education.

Who owns copyright to the material found in the MedSIS pages? 
Undergraduate Medical Education at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine owns the copyright to all text, graphics, and multimedia content in the MedSIS pages of this World Wide Web site. No material may be reproduced on any medium or in any location, without the express written permission of the UME office. Please direct all enquiries to the MedSIS & Evaluations Administrative Coordinator at medsis@knowledge4you.com or 905-947-9924 x253.

Who owns trademarks found in the MedSIS pages?
Unless otherwise indicated, all trademarks found in the MedSIS pages are trademarks of UME Office. Visa is a registered trademark of Visa International Incorporated. MasterCard is a trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated. Microsoft Windows, Windows 95, Windows 98, Internet Explorer are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the USA and other countries.


What claims does UME Office make about the reliability of MedSIS?
The UME Office will make every reasonable effort to provide uninterrupted MedSIS service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year - but cannot guarantee that MedSIS service will be available at all times. In most cases, if a MedSIS service function is unavailable, users will receive on-screen notification of the temporary unavailability of the service.
If you have problems getting connected to MedSIS, please contact the MedSIS & Evaluations Administrative Coordinator in the UME Office at medsis@knowledge4you.com or 905-947-9924 x253 as an alternative.


For which aspects of security is the MedSIS customer responsible? 
Security is critical to your use of MedSIS. Interestingly, security is a shared responsibility. Here is a breakdown of these responsibilities.

You are responsible for the following:

  •  Protecting your access information 

  •  Login PIN 

  •  MedSIS password 

  •  Knowing your browser - gain a basic understanding of how the security features in your browser function. Use this "Test browser" link  to review the security features of your browser software. 

  •  Checking your secure site identifiers (padlocks, keys, etc.) each time you access a secure site to ensure all the security features are working for you 

  •  Logging off properly

Internet service provider 
You choose who to use as your access provider to the Internet. Care should be exercised in selecting a service provider with integrity and a good, solid reputation. In other words, know who you are trusting.

Taking precautions to ensure the security features available within your browser are properly employed is the surest way to have confidence in using the Internet for financial and other confidential transactions.


UME Office
The UME Office is wholly responsible for protection of customers' personal and financial information within the server that houses the MedSIS service. The server is owned, operated and maintained by the UME Office; it is protected behind a high-security firewall. The UME Office systems ensures that only encrypted transmissions (including account/personal information) are allowed to communicate transaction requests within MedSIS. The UME Office does NOT warrant the security of E-mail.

Does UME warrant the security of e-mail correspondence related to MedSIS or sent to or from a MedSIS address?
No. Until such time as UME is satisfied with the security of Internet e-mail, it will not provide confidential information such as PINs and passwords over e-mail. Similarly, MedSIS users are expressly discouraged from sending confidential or personal information via Internet e-mail messages; MedSIS users who choose to send Internet e-mail messages that contain personal or confidential information to the UME Office do so entirely at their own risk. However, general product or service questions and inquiries are always welcome.


Know your browser
The frequently asked questions below will help answer some of the questions you might have about the security features available within your browser. For more information, please refer to your browser's 'Help' files.

What is a browser?
What is the browser's cache?
How do I know I'm at a secure site?
What is encryption?
What is an SSL (Secure Socket Layer)? 

What is a browser? 
A browser is the software on your computer that allows you to view information from the Internet. Information is written in a coded language, 'HTTP' (HyperText Transfer Protocol), which your browser receives and translates into the images and text on your computer's monitor so you can see it and read it. There are many different browser software packages available; the two most common are Netscape Navigator® and Microsoft Internet Explorer®. Back to browser FAQ's


What is the browser's cache? 
Your browser requires time to translate the information from the Internet to display it as text and images on your computer's monitor. To reduce this time requirement, your browser is equipped with a 'cache'. The cache allows your browser to store the text and images of sites you have visited in a 'cache memory'. The next time you visit the same site, your browser will check to see if it has a stored copy of the page in its cache. If it finds one, your browser will display the stored copy because it can load it much faster.

The benefit of using cached pages is the speed with which previously visited pages are displayed on your computer. 

Some disadvantages of using cached pages are:
- the information may not be current depending on how long ago you visited the page 
- pages may be stored in your computer's cache that you don't want anyone else to see 

You can set your browser's cache settings so pages are stored based on your requirements. Your browser can be set to treat secure pages differently from insecure pages; for more information about your browser's cache and how to select and set the cache settings, please see the 'Help' file within your browser. 

To maintain optimal security on your computer for your financial information, the UME Office recommends that you clear your cache each time you complete a MedSIS session. Back to browser FAQ's

How do I know I'm at a secure site? 
Depending on what browser you are using, Netscape Navigator® or Microsoft Internet Explorer®, you will see evidence of whether you are at a secure or unsecured site. 

Lock displayed on screen:
Netscape Navigator displays a padlock in the lower left corner of your screen. If you are at a secure site the padlock will be in a locked position; if you are at an unsecured site the padlock will be open. 
Microsoft Internet Explorer displays a padlock at the bottom of your screen just right of center if you are on a secure site; if you are at an unsecured site, nothing is displayed. 
Warning messages 
Your browser provides a warning message system that will tell you when you are moving to or from a secure page. We have found that a lot of Internet users find these messages irritating and tend to turn them off. We strongly recommend that you do not turn the messages off. They are there to assist you with understanding and maintaining security within your browser. 
Site certificates 
Site certificates are issued to the secure site owners by a Certificate Authority. VeriSign® is the Certificate Authority that issues the UME Office site certificate (The certificate may also be labeled RSA Data Security, Inc.). The UME Office provides detailed corporate information to VeriSign to prove their authenticity, then VeriSign® issues a site certificate to the UME Office. By clicking on the padlock in either Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer, information about the site certificate is displayed. This allows you to verify that you have connected to the site to which you intended to connect. Back to browser FAQ's

What is encryption? 
Encryption is the process of scrambling information using a secret code so it cannot be understood by anyone other than those who have the key for decoding the information. For encryption to work, both the sender and receiver must be able to encode and decode the information. The site certificate provides the private key for encoding the information.

There are different levels of encryption commonly available within web browsers: 40 or 56-bit and 128-bit. The main difference between 40 or 56-bit encryption and 128-bit encryption is that 128-bit encryption provides a significantly greater amount of cryptographic protection than 40 or 56-bit encryption. The 128-bit encryption level is the strongest generally available encryption level at this time – the UME Office requires the use of 128-bit encryption for MedSIS service.

When you talk about encryption levels, what do the '40', '56', and '128' stand for? 

The '40' , '56', and '128' refers to the size of the key used to encrypt the message. Encryption strength is therefore measured by the length of its key, which is expressed in bits. The larger the key, the more digits involved, resulting in a greater variety of number combinations. Simply stated, the larger the key, the harder it is for someone to guess it. Back to browser FAQ's


What is SSL (Secure Socket Layers)? 
Information on the World Wide Web is transmitted using 'HTTP' (HyperText Transfer Protocol). Secure data on the Web is distributed by using the Secure Socket Layer (SSL). This is a layer of security over top of HTTP information. (The location addresses for secure sites use 'https:' at the beginning instead of the regular insecure 'http:'). Your browser would have been shipped to you with SSL enabled. Please see your browser's 'Help' files for more information about SSL. Back to browser FAQ's


How do I logoff properly? 
When you have completed your MedSIS session, click the 'Logout' button at the left side of the page. This expires your session and prevents further access to your accounts until you log into MedSIS again. 

Shutting down your browser is another way to ensure that your information is not available for anyone else who shares your computer to view.



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