Usage advice for cloud services

We're aware that members of the University use services like Dropbox and OneDrive to transfer large files, or to make files available for use in any location.

Although these are popular and useful services, we would advise caution for the following reasons:

  • As the University does not have a contract with them, using these services to hold or transfer any personal information (eg student marks, staff details, sensitive research data etc) is a breach of the Data Protection Act and opens the University up to a fine of up to £500,000
  • If someone is ill and access is needed to data held on their personal cloud service accounts, IT Services will not be able to facilitate this (we are able, under certain defined circumstances, to give controlled access to filestore and University Google Apps accounts).

It should also be noted that some people have reported that Dropbox doesn't work correctly on managed Windows 7 and Windows 10 PCs. We've investigated and reported this to Dropbox, but haven't found a solution.

Recommended alternatives

We recommend that you use the following services instead:

Usage

Recommended service(s)

Transferring large files DropOff Service
Transferring sensitive files that can't be sent by email for contractual reasons (eg restricted research data) DropOff Service
Sharing files with other users (including external users) Google Drive
Enabling offsite access

Google Drive

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Virtual Desktop Service (VDS)