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 related data should be stored on a university network drive for example on the G: drive (your personal work space), or  in a folder on the U: drive (the staff based shared areas provided to you) as appropriate for the security classification of the data.

Staff and Researchers

Recommended file storage locations

In accordance with university policy, no data should be stored on local hard drives, and your own personally-owned data shouldn't be kept on university PCs.

Open/Non-sensitive

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 to your OneDrive for Business cloud storage if you wish to access the files from outside the university or via your laptop, tablet or mobile devices.

If you wish to share Open/Non-sensitive data with colleagues from the university, you should save your files to the correct Shared Area (U:) or to your OneDrive for Business cloud storage and grant rights to your colleagues to access just that file or folder.

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

Other storage devices

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

Personal/Confidential

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.

 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.

Other storage devices

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

Highly Sensitive 

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.

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.

Other storage devices

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

Paper Copies

  • For information on how to dispose of confidential data, please contact the Estates and Facilities Helpdesk (or 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

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 (G:\ drive) is the location you should save files to by default.  Files stored on this area are backed up centrally.

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. You should use this location to store your files and data, by default. 

On a university Windows desktop PCs, on campus, your personal files are generally stored in your personal home area. This includes your Documents, Desktop and Downloads folders

USB 

USB storage devices have evolved and adapted with users' needs  

From a simple "key" or "thumb drive" to multi-terabyte disks, USB storage have proved the ideal way to save, transport and edit your files. USB drives do still corrupt, on occasion, but the ease and size of device which slips into your pocket or onto a key ring has ensured USB sticks are used by all, and dished out as branded freebies at many events.  USB keys are great for students to carry files about on, to meet and share work in groups. As with all files, no matter how important, always make a backup somewhere else! 

Cloud

As a student at the University of Greenwich, you are eligible to use the Microsoft Office 365 platform, 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 

There are three methods of accessing your OneDrive files: 

  1. Mobile applications - Applications for mobile devices running iOS, Android and Windows Phone are available.
  2. Web browser access -  Files and folders are easily accessible via the applications button within Office 365, and enables users to upload/download files and also to edit Office documents online within the web browser. You can also work collaboratively on documents with colleagues at the same time.
  3. File sync client -  a piece of software that installs onto a user's machine enabling them to automatically synchronise files between a specified local folder and the cloud-based file store.
  • You will be licensed for the duration of your study at the University because the license is linked to your student account, so remember to backup your files before you leave.

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.