The Backup Rule of Three
If you choose to use CDs, DVDs and USB flash drives for working data or backup copies, you should:
You should always have up-to-date anti-virus software installed on your office and home computer. McAfee VirusScan software for Windows and Mac is available for free download to all CUNY faculty, staff, and students from the eMall in CUNY Portal.
You should also be aware of physical security. A computer that is not connected to a network is still vulnerable to theft and malicious damage/modification to data.
For suggestions of password management tools, consult the CUNY Academic Commons guide to Data Management Tools.
If you have sensitive data that is covered by privacy laws or confidentiality agreements, it is best to store it on a computer that is not connected to any network. If this is not possible, then you should encrypt your data. For more information on encryption software, see below.
Drives and disks where confidential data are stored should be encrypted, as should any electronic means (e.g., email) used to transmit confidential data. There are many proprietary and open-source encryption applications available. Encryption keys should always be written down and stored in two separate, secure locations.
AxCrypt is encryption software that integrates into Windows Explorer.
Mailvelope is an application for encrypting webmail like Gmail, Outlook.
If you will be collecting data outside the United States, make sure that your encryption software will not violate Export Control regulations.
This guide was developed by the CUNY Office of Library Services and is based on (and, in some cases, pulls from) guides created at the libraries at the CUNY Graduate Center, New York University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts, University of Michigan, and Stanford University.