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OHIO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
SAFE
Secure Application For Enterprise
 

What is SAFE ?
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) launched the Security Application For Enterprise (SAFE) Web portal in May, 2003. SAFE is a Web Portal and a "single sign on" software security solution for ODE customers.

Why was SAFE deployed ?
SAFE provides more security to Web applications on ODE’s Web site (www.ode.state.oh.us). All new Web applications that require security and have been released since May 2003 can be accessed through the SAFE portal.

The portal provides ODE customers with an added measure of convenience. Eventually, an individual will need only one secure account for most ODE Web applications he or she is authorized to use. ODE customers expressed frustration with the large number of passwords and custom security systems rolled out with each new Web application. SAFE addresses those concerns and provides customers with one "portable" password and username for a variety of ODE Web applications. SAFE also provides a centralized and consistent security approach and electronic signature authority for electronic transactions.

SAFE is sometimes referred to as the “Web Portal,” so “SAFE account” and “secure ODE Web Portal account” are synonymous.

The Web portal provides ODE customers with more security because it limits access to secure Web applications to only authorized users. Authorized users are generally identified by “roles”, which are customer groups.  The SAFE portal is tightly coupled with the Ohio Education Directory System (OEDS). Every district and community school must assign someone to the role of “OEDS Organization Administrator.” In some instances, the OEDS organization administrator might be the district superintendent. Only the person with the “OEDS Organization Administrator” role has the access to assign roles to other personnel within a particular school district.

The initial SAFE account authentication or "identity validation" occurs centrally, while authorization to access secure ODE Web applications generally occurs in a decentralized manner in the Ohio school districts. This approach reflects Ohio's long history of  school district "local control" and leverages the valuable assets of familiar personal relationships and current human resources data among local school district personnel.

Each SAFE account is unique, and is not shared among individuals, school district or organization staff. 

Every "secure" action by a SAFE account owner in a secure ODE Web application is logged and stored for security auditing.

How do I get a SAFE account?
The SAFE sign-up procedure is automated and authenticates users by leveraging real-time Ohio driver license and Ohio identification data. Please use this link to initiate the identity authentication and sign-up process:
https://safe.ode.state.oh.us/portal/signup/signup

What if I don't have a valid Ohio driver license or Ohio identification card?
Identity authentication can be conducted using a variety of third-party documentation. Please contact the SAFE Administrator for details: Safe.Admin@education.ohio.gov

How do I use my SAFE account?
To access a secure Web application, two things must occur. First, users must request their own SAFE account, which has a unique account name and password. Second, they must have the appropriate role (or roles) assigned to them in OEDS by their OEDS and/or SAFE administrator. If these two requirements are met, then users should automatically be granted access to the application(s) for which they have authorization. SAFE also supports roles/groups not included in the OEDS system.

Users who log into the SAFE portal are taken to a personal, secure Web portal page with hyperlinks to the Web applications for which their role grants them access. If the user name appears, but no links appear on the personal Web Portal page, that means the user has an active SAFE account, but is not authorized to access any Web applications. When accessing a Web application, users are able to navigate within it based on their assigned role. For example, in a given application, someone in a "superintendent" role may have “signature” authority, while someone in an "EMIS coordinator" role may have "editing" access.

How do I get Web application links listed on my ODE Web Portal home page?
Contact your local OEDS Organization Administrator if you would like to be added to a particular role for your school district or organization. The OEDS role associated with your SAFE account will determine what level of secure application access is available, and which application links are listed on your secure ODE Web Portal home page. If your organization or school district does not currently have an OEDS Organization Administrator, please contact the customer support representative for the Web application for which you are requesting access. That "contact us" information should be listed as a link on the main navigation menu on the left side of the Web application's home page.

For additional help, please contact the ODE SAFE Administrator: Safe.Admin@education.ohio.gov


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