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Guidance on data security

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The University needs to keep certain sensitive information protected: sometimes this is for legal or ethical reasons, sometimes for business reasons. Relevant information includes:

  • personal data relating to students, e.g. their marks
  • certain research data, e.g. relating to human subjects
  • sensitive information about University business.

There are a number of things you can do to protect the data that you handle :-

  • Consider whether you can reduce the amount of sensitive data you take outside the University and its network without adversely affecting your work - e.g. access and process the data remotely via an ssh login or via NX graphical login.
  • If you have any mobile device (smartphone, tablet, laptop) which you use to access University data, you must ensure that it is both password/PIN protected and protected by encryption. This applies regardless of whether the device was purchased by the University, is personally owned or belongs to a third party. This protects against less casual access by someone else if you lose the device. Information about how to encrypt your devices, for various operating systems, is provided below.
  • Passwords used to access University systems or data must not be used to access external services such as Facebook, personal emails etc.
  • Use strong passwords, and configure your machines appropriately -- e.g., if you habitually sleep your machine rather than shutting it down, so that if it were lost or stolen it might be in the sleep state, make sure it asks for the password on waking.
  • Follow the College policy on Encryption of devices.

Above all, please be aware of the issue and use your common sense.

Available techniques for improving data security

Further advice on typical use cases

The following are a list of typical use cases and issues you should/may like to consider for each case :-

Further information

Last reviewed: 
07/11/2017

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