Working safely with research data from home
Due to the corona measures most of our research must be done while working from home. This demands increased awareness in order to do this safely from home. RDM Support offers you some tips and tricks on how to accomplish this.
Handling Personal Data
When working with personal data (i.e. identifying data which contains for instance ‘name, address, city’ or other types of identifying data like e-mail addresses) please use the Guide Handling Personal Data and IT security ‘Did you properly secure our data?
Important to keep in mind:
- Be careful when working with identifying personal data at home: only do so when absolutely necessary, do not store local copies on your own devices, use the VPN tools from the UU and map the UU network drives.
- We recommend using YoDa and OneDrive for storing personal data.
- Pay extra attention to phishing emails: unknown person or not for work? Do not open attachments and do not click on links. Delete e-mail from mailbox and recycle bin.
- Regularly scan your computer for viruses and malware.
- Make sure your PC or laptop is up to date.
- The VPN of vpn.uu.nl provides good protection for all internet contacts with servers and computers within the UU network. All other connections and contacts may NOT go via the UU VPN network but locally via your own home router. That means data sent / received that way may not be protected by VPN.
- A large part of the two-factor authentication and authorization has not yet been rolled out for many UU sites. Many intranet sites therefore only have password protection. Preferably approach these sites after making the UU VPN connection.
- Be careful when using video chat services to discuss privacy sensitive data. First, ensure that as little sensitive data as possible is discussed. If sensitive data needs to be discussed, do not mention names or other personal information but only use a participant number. We recommend using Teams and Skype for Business.
- Preferably work via a wired network, because wifi authentication and connections are vulnerable, and check what is happening on your home network.
- Do not use new software simply to be able to work from home. Do not use free tooling from the web. You can continue to use your software for your research as you did prior to the crisis.
- By default, use software which is provided and validated by the UU and available through the UU Software Center.
- Secure your devices: smartphone and tablet, USB flash drive or mobile hard disk, your UU-computer and your personal computer.
- Report a data-breach to CERT, also when it concerns your personal device with UU-data.
- Do NOT transfer or forward research data to private e-mail accounts or Google mail. Communication between researchers should remain within the institutional e-mails. Think who needs access to relevant information and make sure to control access to information through shared institutional drives rather than e-mail conversations. You can make use of SURFfilesender to send large files securely and encrypted.
- Lock your computer (Windows key + L) whenever you step away from your workstation
For corona related research
- For COVID-19 research that needs extra hands: it is possible to request computing power, research engineers, data managers and/or other support for you.
- Accelerate the process of systematic reviews of papers written on Corona, with the help of machine learning, check ASReview: Software for automating systematic reviews
During the corona crisis, RDM support is at your service
- Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The course Learn to write your Data Management Plan is available online. So are some of our regular workshops.
- Check IT security ‘Did you properly secure our data?
- IT Servicedesk has made a special page for manuals for working from home.