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Physical security

With a number of simple measures you can ensure the physical security of your research data: 

  • lock your computer when leaving it for just a moment (Windows key + L)
  • lock your door if you are not in your room
  • keep an eye on your laptop
  • transport your USB stick or external hard disk in such a way that you cannot lose it
  • keep non-digital material which should not be seen by others, in a locked cupboard or drawer

Virtual security

The computer you use to consult, process and store your data, must be secured:

  • use a firewall
  • install anti-virus software
  • install updates for the operating system and software
  • use only secured wireless networks
  • use passwords and do not share them with anyone

Do not use passwords on your UvA computer only, but also on your laptop or home computer. If necessary, you can also secure individual files with a password. 


If securing by means of a password does not suffice, you might consider to encrypt your data by means of encryption software. By coding the data, your files will become unreadable to anyone who does not have the correct encryption key. You may code an individual file, but also (part of) a hard disk or USB stick.

Instead of encryption software, you could also use a ZIP program, such as WinZip or 7-Zip. ZIP software is meant to compress files, so that they take up less space, but it also has a strong encryption option. 

You can also encrypt files that you store in cloud services (Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, etc.). 

Transferring files securely

In order to transfer files securely, you can use SURF FileSender.
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