Preventing unauthorised access
In many cases, you may wish to restrict access to your data to a specific list of individuals. This might be because it is commercially sensitive to your or an industrial partner, or includes sensitive personal information covered by the Data Protection Act or they are your collaborators.
This is possible by sharing project folders on your Research Drive - select the tab entitled "Shared project folders for Stirling staff" or the tab entitled "Shared project folders for external researchers"
Research data should not be held exclusively on any local storage media, e.g., a pen drive as these can be easily missplaced
Things to think about
- Legal requirements: You may be under legal and/or contractual obligations to protect your data. If you're not sure, you can discuss this with the university's legal office, who can give you advice on your collaboration or consortium agreements and laws such as the Data Protection Act.
- Use of secure systems: One way to restrict access is to use a password-protected system, as above. Commercial services such as Dropbox may be convenient, but are unlikely to provide sufficient protection against unauthorised access.
- Secure passwords: Passwords are often the weak link in any secure system. Make sure you choose passwords that are long and difficult to guess. Writing them down is OK, as long as you protect your written-down password very well, just like you would with your house or car keys.
- Encryption: You will sometimes need to send data to people who don't have access to your secure storage system. Encrypting a file before you send it via insecure means (e.g. email) ensures that the contents can only be read by someone who has the key.
See the IS Security page for further help and advice, in particular the section on Protecting Your Data.