File Storage and Sharing

The UCD File Storage & Sharing Guide, which you can read below, gives updated advice to staff on how to store and share UCD work-related files such as documents and spreadsheets. This advice applies to all members of the UCD community, including faculty, staff and students who are adhering to the University’s IT security policies as outlined in the Acceptable Use Policy and the Device Protection Policy.

When sharing and storing information, especially personal and sensitive data, you should at all times be mindful of GDPR guidelines and best practices on data protection. For advice and guides for the UCD community on managing personal and sensitive data, please consult the UCD GDPR website.

Storing files

The University recommends the use of Google Drive and Novell Drive (NetStorage) to store files such as documents and spreadsheets. This includes files which contain personal data and confidential university information. Investment has been put into ensuring that these solutions meet a high standard of security and data protection and are continually monitored and managed. A comparison of the features of these two services is listed below:

  Google Drive Novell Drive
Storage Limit 1 terabyte (TB) per Staff member, 75 GB per Student  1GB Personal Storage
Key Benefits  Ease of use, integration with other Google Apps, easy to locate people to share documents with  Appears as a drive in Windows

 Available over Internet with Google Drive app available for mobiles

 Available over internet but no mobile app
Sharing Files  Any folder or file can be shared with any UCD user or external user  Only files on shared S: drive can be shared with users added by IT Services. Files cannot be shared outside of UCD
Access  UCD Staff & Students  UCD Staff only


We do not recommend storing files on a personal computer or local drives (where they could be lost if the machine is damaged or lost), on USB keys or other portable storage (which pose significant risks, especially in the event of loss), or in consumer storage solutions such as Dropbox or in a personal Google account (which do not offer the same level of security or data protection as the University equivalents where formal contracts and enhanced security have been put in place). While OneDrive is available to all staff and students who have access to Microsoft Office 365, it is not the recommended cloud-based storage service in UCD.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an important protection for documents stored within Google Drive. MFA adds an important layer of protection to your IT account and helps secure and protect the University’s data and reputation. MFA is mandatory for all staff accounts.

Sharing files

The University recommends Google Drive for sharing files and folders. In particular, shared drives in Google Drive are an effective way of organising and sharing files at school, unit or group level.

When sharing files and folders using Google Drive, you should ensure that you are sharing only with the intended recipients and only for as long as is necessary. This is particularly important if you are sharing material outside of the organisation.

Files containing personal data

Files containing personal data require special attention. For example, student, personnel or medical records should remain within the secure managed systems specifically designed for them e.g. within Banner, InfoHub or PeopleXD, as far as possible. If such data is stored in files outside of such systems, you should pay particular attention to who is allowed access to these files and ensure that they retain such files only as long as is strictly necessary.

Related documents

 » UCD File Storage & Sharing Guide (pdf, 3 pages, 90KB)

 » Acceptable Use Policy

 » Device Protection Policy