IT and Library Services

Where should I save my files?

Where and how to store data has become a difficult question for some. While researchers at the University may require secure and easily accessible space to store vast data-sets, most staff and students will be using the same sort of data, files, and systems every day.

All university data should be stored securely, as appropriate for the security classification of the data. The university’s policy around storing highly sensitive, confidential and personal data provides information on how classify and store data.

Staff and Researchers

In accordance with university policy, no data should be stored on local hard drives, and your non-university data should not be held in university storage.

Open/Non-sensitive

In university governed cloud storage

The primary location for storing university data is Microsoft 365, including OneDrive for Business and Teams.

On a university Managed Desktop computer

If you are the only person who needs to access the file / files, save to your OneDrive for Business cloud storage. This will allow you to access the files from outside the university or via your laptop, tablet or mobile devices. You may also store data on your Home Area (G:\) on a university Managed Desktop computer, but this will only be available from university devices.

If you wish to share Open/Non-sensitive data with colleagues from the university, you should save your files to your OneDrive for Business cloud storage and grant rights to your colleagues to access just that file or folder. You may also store data to the correct Shared Area (U:) on a university Managed Desktop computer, but this will only be available from university devices.

On a university Managed Laptop computer

You may store non-sensitive data on a university managed laptop.

On university or personally owned device (laptop, tablet, phone)

You may store non-sensitive data on university provided, or your own personal devices.

USB Storage

Where possible, avoid storing university data on external devices such as pen drives and external hard drives. Use the Microsoft 365 cloud storage which you can access from anywhere.

Where the data is classified as highly sensitive, confidential or personal, and there is no other option but to use external storage, ensure that you use an encrypted USB storage device and ensure that a copy of the original data remains within OneDrive or Teams. For additional support, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Other storage devices

  • Local disk drive (eg. Windows C:\ or Mac OS "Home" folder) - No
  • CD/DVD - Yes
  • Personal Cloud storage platforms - Yes

Personal/Confidential

In university governed cloud storage

Following additional infrastructure and system changes made by ILS to ensure university governed cloud storage is even more stable and secure, the Data Storage under Data Classification table has been updated, and university data may now be stored in Microsoft 365, including Teams and OneDrive for Business.

On a university Managed Desktop computer

If you are the only person who needs to access the file / files, save to your Home Area (G:\) on a university Managed Desktop computer, or university governed storage in the cloud (OneDrive for Business or Teams) if you wish to access the files from outside the university.

If you wish to share Personal/Confidential data with colleagues from the university, you should save your files to the correct Shared Area (U:). If it is not appropriate to store certain work related information on your shared drive, e.g. a disciplinary process, you should request a new area with greater access restrictions.

On a university Managed Laptop computer

You may store Personal/Confidential data on a university Managed Laptop, only under the following circumstances.

  • The device is centrally managed by ILS and the user does not possess a local "super-user" / "admin" account.
  • Information must, as minimum, be password protected (ideally the disks should be encrypted) and only saved temporarily on the local storage when access to suitable storage area (G: or u: ) is not possible.
  • Data must be transferred immediately to suitable storage when access becomes available and them removed from the laptop's local storage.

On university or personally owned device (laptop, tablet, phone)

You may not store Personal/Confidential data on university provided, or your own personal devices.

USB Storage

Where possible, avoid storing university data on external devices such as pen drives and external hard drives. Use the Microsoft 365 cloud storage which you can access from anywhere.

Where the data is classified as highly sensitive, confidential or personal, and there is no other option but to use external storage, ensure that you use an encrypted USB storage device and ensure that a copy of the original data remains within OneDrive or Teams. For additional support, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Other storage devices

  • Local disk drive (eg. Windows C:\ or Mac OS "Home" folder) - No
  • CD/DVD - Yes
  • Personal Cloud storage platforms - No. You must not use publicly available cloud services such as Google Drive

Highly Sensitive

In university governed cloud storage

Following additional infrastructure and system changes made by ILS to ensure university governed cloud storage is even more stable and secure, the Data Storage under Data Classification table has been updated, and university data may now be stored in Microsoft 365, including Teams and OneDrive for Business.

On a university Managed Desktop computer

If you are the only person who needs to access the file / files, save to your Home Area (G:\) on a university Managed Desktop computer, or university governed storage in the cloud (OneDrive  for Business or Teams) if you wish to access the files from outside the university.

If you wish to share Highly Sensitive data with colleagues from the university, you should save your files to the correct Shared Area (U:). If it is not appropriate to store certain work related information on your shared drive, e.g. a disciplinary process, you should request a new area with greater access restrictions.

On a university Managed Laptop computer

You may store Highly Sensitive data on a university Managed Laptop, only under the following circumstances.

  • The device is centrally managed by ILS and the user does not possess a local "super-user" / "admin" account.
  • Information must, as minimum, be password protected (ideally the disks should be encrypted) and only saved temporarily on the local storage when access to suitable storage area (G: or u: ) is not possible.
  • Data must be transferred immediately to suitable storage when access becomes available and them removed from the laptop's local storage.

On university or personally owned device (laptop, tablet, phone)

You may not store Highly Sensitive data on university provided, or your own personal devices.

USB Storage

Where possible, avoid storing university data on external devices such as pen drives and external hard drives. Use the Microsoft 365 cloud storage which you can access from anywhere.

Where the data is classified as highly sensitive, confidential or personal, and there is no other option but to use external storage, ensure that you use an encrypted USB storage device and ensure that a copy of the original data remains within OneDrive or Teams. For additional support, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Other storage devices

  • Local disk drive (eg. Windows C:\ or Mac OS "Home" folder) - No
  • CD/DVD - Yes
  • Personal Cloud storage platforms - No. You must not use publicly available cloud services such as Google Drive

Paper Copies

  • For information on how to dispose of confidential data, please contact the Estates and Facilities helpdesk via the Portal.
  • When posting confidential information, it is best to use two envelopes, one inside the other
    • You should leave the outer envelope plain, without any indication of sensitivity (e.g. 'Confidential, 'Private', etc) so as not to attract attention to it.  Then, you should seal and mark the inner envelope appropriately.
    • This way, potential thieves aren't alerted to the nature of what's being posted, while the recipient will become aware when they open the first envelope. Within the university, deliver confidential information by hand whenever possible.

Students

Cloud

All students have access to Microsoft 365, which includes OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business, is a cloud hosted storage system, on which you can store and share files with any staff or students at the university. Find out more on our OneDrive support page.

Find out more about Microsoft 365 at the university, including how to install it for free on your devices.

Local disk

On university Managed Desktop computers, saving files to "My Documents" / "Documents" will actually write your files to your network area (G: drive)

You should not try to store any files on the local hard drives of computers in the IT labs.

Network drive

Your personal home area

All students logging in in to a Managed Desktop computer will have a personal home area, referred to as the G:\ drive.  Files stored on this area are backed up centrally.

On a university Windows desktop PCs, on campus, this includes your Documents, Desktop and Downloads folders. You should use this location to store your files and data, by default.

Removable Storage (USB)

USB Storage

Malicious devices can install malware, software designed to cause disruption to our devices and network. Where possible, avoid storing data on external devices such as pen drives and external hard drives. Use the Microsoft 365 cloud storage which you can access from anywhere.

CD/DVD

Once considered almost infallible, CD/DVDs have fallen out of fashion due to many reasons

CD/DVDs were heavily used as a storage medium for files, music and videos, the CD & DVD has fallen out of favour. While you are welcome to use a CD / DVD to write and re-write your files, remember that all tablets, many laptops and even new desktop computers are now shipped without a built in drive to read disks. Many users found that the disks weren't as reliable as first thought and a simple scratch could render thousands of files un-readable.

If you store data on disks, make sure you look after them, keep them clean and keep several copies.

Paper

Important data and personal information still gets sent and printed on paper

You will need to log into university MFDs before using it, so be sure to log out once finished. Please make sure you pick up your printing promptly, especially when waiting for multiple copies or larger print jobs, and take extra care with confidential documents.

Documentation

Encrypting Files and Folders

  • If you need to share confidential data, it's vital that the files are encrypted before being transferred.