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Data management for students: Storing isn't boring

Storage

When choosing a suitable storage solution to fit your project's needs, many questions need answering. For example:

  • How much storage space do I need?
  • Who can have access?
  • What precautions should I take to protect my data against loss?
  • Which storage solutions are suitable for personal data?

It is an important aspect of data management planning to determine your storage needs and select solutions accordingly.

Retrieved from: https://www.thelifeofdanger.com/odds-ends/files-in-the-cloud

Security

Maybe a researcher once thought he was doing a good job of backing up the research data on a USB stick, but how long will they last? Can you retrieve the data on such a stick later on? For example, not all laptops still have a USB port. And if the data can already be retrieved from such a stick, can they still be read by the software used? And how do you prevent your data from ending up on the street in the event of losing the stick? There are plenty of data horror stories that more than illustrate the risk of data loss.

Among the most common causes of data loss are:

  • Hardware failure;
  • Software malfunction;
  • Malware or hacking;
  • Human error (research data accidentally gets deleted or overwritten or is lost in transport);
  • Theft, natural disaster or fire;
  • Degradation of storage media.

To prevent unauthorised access and possible changes to your data, data security measures are in order. Such measures, on the one hand, serve to protect personal data and confidential information and on the other hand, offer protection against unauthorised manipulation or erasure of files (intentional or unintentional). Backups are an important instrument for ensuring that your data and related files can be restored in case of loss or damage. For more information on (data) security and steps you can take yourself see Tips for working safely from home and What does Tilburg University do about data security?

Storage solutions overview

Microsoft's collaborative platform Office 365 for students is available to you to store, share and collaborate on your data.

Since the end of 2020, Tilburg University students have access to their personal OneDrive environment. You can use it immediately and, if relevant, transfer all your documents from your part of the M:\ drive. OneDrive is largely similar to the M:\ drive, but it is more than just a place to store your files. It is a place for collaboration. OneDrive supports all kinds of useful facilities, including collaborating simultaneously in one document, version control, and editing on other devices such as your smartphone. Moreover, you will get access to Office Online (contains basic versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint that you can open in your browser) and Office ProPlus (the new desktop versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, which you can install on your student workspace as well as on 5 other devices).

Important: Do NOT use your personal Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, Gmail, etc. for sharing and storing personal data. Instead, only use software and storage provided by the university, preferably TiU Google Drive. See the next chapter of this LibGuide for more information on (working with) personal data.