Files, Network Access, and Data Preservation
While on campus, or using UF's virtual private network (VPN), TSS-managed computers access internal UF resources when someone logs on using their GatorLink user name and password.
File and Data Storage
- All files related to UF official business should be stored on secured network drives or approved online services, such as:
- Network Drives:
- Unit's departmental drive – for sharing files with other people working in the same unit
- Employee's home drive – by default this location is only available to the employee for their individual UF work
- Other network drives available to the employee as specified by the unit
- Online Services:
- Only files on the network are backed up; files on local computer hard drives are not backed up. UF official business data (files) should never be permanently stored on a computer's local hard drive (C:)!
The University of Florida has extensive definitions, rules, and policies when it comes to handling various types of restricted data. Please see the Information Security's website on Restricted Data. In particular:
- Sensitive data should not be stored on a laptop. Per UF Mobile Computing and Storage Policy, if files with sensitive data might be temporarily saved on a laptop (including email), the laptop hard drive must be encrypted; therefore TSS encrypts all mobile devices that it manages.
VPN – Access when Off Campus
The University of Florida Virtual Private Network Service provides employees with the ability to securely access network files and restricted resources (home and department drives, email via MS Outlook, library journals, etc.) while working off-site. To have the software installed on your computer, please submit a TSS Help Request.
For more detailed information, please visit the detailed explanation of UF's VPN Services.
Electronic records fall under UF's Records Retention Schedule, which specifies how long something needs to retained by the type of information contained in the item, regardless of format (paper, electronic file, email message, database, etc.). It is the responsibility of the individual employee or unit to determine what retention schedule applies to the contents of their electronic records or email.
Data (file) restoration may sometimes be needed after a computer malfunction, such as a hard drive "crash", virus or malware infection, accidental deletion of a file, or corruption of the data file itself.
- If the file was saved onto a network drive for more than one business day, it is likely that TSS can restore the file from network backups. Please submit a TSS Help Request specifying the name of the file and what network drive and folder it is or was in.
- For UF-approved online services, either contact the manager of the specific service for your area, or submit a general myIT request so your issues may be forwarded to the appropriate UFIT group.
- If the only copy of the data is on the hard drive of an employee's computer, it is unlikely that TSS technicians will be able to recover the file. See the explanation in the previous section of this page.
TSS manages migration of network files — such as between servers or new services — in conjunction with the affected units. In general this means that unit files may not be available the night or weekend of the migration, with timing arranged according to the unit's schedule.
Migration of a user's profile from an old computer to a new computer is handled via this process:
- TSS technicians will consult with the employee to determine what should be backed up on the computer hard drive, assuming the previous computer is operable.
- By default, TSS will always make every attempt to back up a user's Windows Profile (My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, the Desktop, Internet Explorer Favorites) before any permanent change occurs to the computer (re-image, replace hard drive, switch out computers).
- After consultation with the user, the technician will back up — by request only — areas outside of the User Windows Profile where the employee has stored files on the C: drive.
- If you have any concerns or doubts about the process ask before the technician begins working on your computer!
- In certain cases, data migration of a computer hard drive might not be possible, such as after a catastrophic event to the computer's hard drive (it "crashed"), an electrical surge to the computer itself, data corrupting viruses, etc.
While TSS understands that personal files can creep on to UF-owned resources, at no point will our unit or any of our technicians be responsible for personal data.