Dropbox is one of the most popular services on campus for saving and sharing large files but if you are using it, or any other online storage service, there are some things you should consider:

The service may own your data and documents

Read the terms and conditions. Some services claim ownership of everything hosted on them, meaning that they own your data and intellectual property.

If the service goes down, you lose your stuff

If this is the only place where your data is stored, you run the risk of losing it completely if the service is shut down or compromised.

Sensitive information may not be properly secured

If you are sorting sensitive or confidential information such as personal details, these should be kept more securely. You may be fined or lose your reputation if data you are trusted with is lost or released to people who shouldn’t see it.

You may be breaking research funders’ requirements

Some funding bodies require you to store research data in certain ways. You risk your funding and reputation if you do not follow their requirements.

Can you guarantee it will stay protected and secure?

Some storage services are hosted overseas. Data stored in them is not protected by EU data protection laws. There are no guarantees that your data will always be safe and secure.

For more information on what to consider when using online storage services, see the Dropbox Guidelines on the IMT website. For more advice on storing your data safely and securely, contact imt.infosec@lse.ac.uk