Keep your copies safe
The university supports a wide range of applications and systems that house research data, intellectual property, and personal/confidential information. University data is classified into three categories:
- Public: Made available or distributed to the public (social media posts, website information)
- Internal: Accessed by authorised staff and students for internal use only and not for external distribution.
- Sensitive: Staff only access who require it in performing university responsibilities. This data includes information protected by Federal or State legislation.
Be aware of the classification of information you are working with to ensure it is handled correctly. Data classified as sensitive is vital to the University’s business operations, and all University staff and students must consider correct handling of this data.
Video: Keep your environment safe with 7 tips to identify and avoid security risks in the workplace.
The University offers several services to staff and students to facilitate safe and secure storage of all University data. Staff and student files and folders are stored on a central storage system known as shared drives. These shared drives are available on all computers on campus and remote access using the File Server or our VPN.
University data should be stored on provided shared drives, use of USB and portable drives to share information should be minimised.
Shared drives available to staff are:
- H:\ Drive – Home drive linked to an individual staff account. (Cannot be seen by other staff)
- M:\ Drive – Campus specific data share
- N:\ Drive – National access to data
- S:\ Drive – Student drive to share files and folders with students
Note: Students only have S:\ drive mapped to their account. They do not have access to Staff drives M:\ and N:\.
Staff are encouraged to save their data to a shared drive rather than their PC or laptop. When data is saved on your campus computer, it is not accessible on or off-campus. It is classed as a “Local Copy” and is not recoverable if deleted or corrupt.
Data stored on any mapped drive is backed up twice a day for recovery and security purposes. If required deleted or corrupt files may be recovered from a backup by IT.
Note: Notre Dame University does not take responsibility for any data loss when saved as a local copy.
Lock when you leave
Anytime you leave your workstation; you should lock it using Windows Key + L.
Leaving your workstation unlocked when you leave your desk can lead to someone using your account in unauthorised ways.
Unauthorised use can include
- Sending an email from your account
- Copying, moving or deleting files or folders
- Accessing confidential information
- Locking out your account
- Downloading unapproved applications, links, images or videos
It only takes a moment for information or data to be stolen or corrupted. All university devices are configured to require a password to access an account once locked. Locking your workstation does not shut down any programs or close any open files. Enter your password to pick up where you left off knowing your workstation is secure.
Printing and Hard Copies
All staff should handle hard copies of confidential and sensitive information appropriately. It is important to remember that even printed documents can be taken and used maliciously by someone who should not have access to that information. Popular hard copy targets include personal records, financial statements and payroll information.
Keep information private by adequately handling the storage and disposal of documents in high-risk areas:
- Printer Output Tray: Clear material from the printer as soon as they are printed to ensure the wrong person does not pick up sensitive documents.
- Desk waste paper bins: Avoid throwing confidential documents into your desk bin to prevent dumpster divers looking through printouts.
- Filling cabinets: Store printed documents securely in file cabinets or locked cupboards and avoid leaving them in shared areas or on your desk in easy reach of others.
- Office Desks: Remove documents from trays, under keyboards and in stacks on your desk. File them as soon as possible to prevent others from looking.
Document shredding is an essential safeguard in preventing theft of university data and intellectual property. Shred any documents you no longer require and dispose of them in a confidential paper bin around campus. If you are shredding in bulk, you can organise a bin and collection date with Campus Services. Avoid using general waste and recycle bins when disposing sensitive information to prevent possible theft or misuse of information.
We complete most of our tasks on our computers, so it is encouraged to keep your screen clear and uncluttered. This can help you focus on your current task and not feel overwhelmed by clutter from open applications and files.
Here are some tips to keep your screen clear and secure:
- Close applications down after using them or minimise the screen, so it does not display in the background when not being used
- Create quick links to access folders and applications quickly from the taskbar. This way, you can close them without feeling you cannot find them again
- Avoid saving files on the desktop. Leave only shortcuts to keep it clean
- Keep a folder on your desktop to save files temporarily. Clean this folder at the end of the week and file documents to shared drives
- Minimise screens with confidential information when talking to colleagues at your desk
- Restart your machine at the end of the week; this will ensure essential updates are installed and let you start fresh at the beginning of each week
Keeping a tidy desk can help you think clearer, find required documents quickly, keep organised and ensure hard copies of information is not left for others to view easily. It is important to adopt secure practices in your workspace:
- Lock away paper containing confidential information if you have finished working on them or need to take a break
- Avoid leaving passwords or confidential information on scrap paper or post its
- Keep large files organised by storing them in a lockable filing cabinet
- Minimise what needs to be printed. Think about what can be stored or shared on the network instead
- Clear your desk at the end of the day to start the next day fresh