Personal Data Policy

All Faculty, Staff, and Students are responsible for their own data.  Data should never be stored solely on a personal computer.  Computer hard drives are mechanical hardware and can fail, which can lead to critical data loss.


Critical work related data should always be stored on a network drive.  Files stored on a network drive are secured and will be backed up on the server and accessible when connected to the network.  All Staff and Faculty have access to a personal share on the network. 

  • Contact the Help Desk to have your personal drive mapped on your computer.
  • Computers that must be wiped will be given a new hard drive
  • The IT department will attempt to transfer all data files from the old drive to the new drive
  • The IT department will reinstall any College owned software 
  • The user is responsible for reinstalling any personal software
  • The original hard drive will be pulled and retained for 90 days


  • Students are responsible for backing up their own data
  • IT will not back up or migrate data for students when imaging or swapping Centenary owned computers
  • IT will assist students to back up files to alternate storage
  • Centenary IT is not responsible for lost data on college issued laptops or on personal computers
  • Centenary laptops may be re-imaged if a virus is discovered
  • The IT department recommends that all users back up critical files to alternate storage

Best Practices

  • Back up your data on a weekly basis
  • Back up everything that matters to you
  • Keep three copies of anything you care about - Two isn't enough if it's important.
  • Keep your data in at least two different formats (See backup options below)
  • Keep at least one off-site backup - If the house burns down, how will you get your memories back?

Backup options

Warning: While backing up your data is important, there is a chance you will back up a virus. Be sure to scan your documents for viruses before you use them

 Secure Options

  • A network share drive (faculty & staff only)
  • An encrypted or password protected external hard drive or USB drive

 Less Secure Options

The following options are viable for non-business critical data, or data that would not be considered private.  Please refer to the Information Security Policy. 

  •  “The cloud”.  Some available options include:

o   Dropbox.com

o   Google Drive (available to anyone with a gmail account)

o   Microsoft's Skydrive (Same account as hotmail.com, live.com, or msn.com)

o   Amazon cloud drive (available to anyone with an amazon.com account)

o   Dump Truck (goldenfrog.com/dumptruck) encrypted, redundant cloud storage


  • USB drive
  • External hard drive
  • Burn a CD
  • Email the file to yourself