Lagre og behandle data i studieoppgaver - Student

Storing and processing information in a bachelor’s- and master's thesis

Storing and processing information in a bachelor’s- and master's thesis

Are you working on a bachelor’s- or master's thesis? Or perhaps you are working on a research project? Then you are likely to be working with personal data that requires some form of protection. Here you can find out how you can store and process the information safely and responsibly. In addition, information related to what rules apply when using private PC’s will be available. 

It is of utmost importance to store and process your files in the correct locations. In order to do this, you need to find out which confidentiality class applies for your data and the data you are going to process. 

  • What type of information will you process?

    Look up in the classification guide and decide if your data belongs under the categories of green, yellow or red. 
    Beware that red data is classified as sensitive personal information and is subject to strict requirements of protection by law. You can read more about this in the Security manual or look up Checklist for processing of sensitive information in research. 

  • Where can I store my data?

    After deciding class of confidentiality for your data, you will need to check the university’s guidelines to see what type of equipment is allowed to process said data. You can find this in the Storage guide of OsloMet. The storage guide explains what requirements and conditions apply to different types of equipment and IT-systems used for the categories of yellow and red, respectively. 

    For students, this may mean that you are not allowed to process any other data than category green on private PC’s/Mac’s. 

  • When does the storage guide apply to me?

    The storage guide ( applies when you are working with data not owned by yourself. Rather, the data is owned by OsloMet or something the university is responsible for. Examples on these types of data can be work on bachelor’s- or master’s thesis's that process sensitive information. 

    The storage guide also applies when you are working with data which is shared to you from others or vice versa. 

    This can make it demanding for you as a student to follow the IT-security regulations. Still, there are solutions available. 

  • Solutions for working with the yellow information category in Office365 (OneDrive) 

    Although you are not allowed to work with yellow data on a private PC, you can still work in the online (web) version of Office365 where the documents are stored in the cloud solution OneDrive, but without synchronizing to own PC/Laptop. (Referencing storage guide > Storage on equipment > Storage on privately owned PC/Mac) 

    To work in the online version (web version), log into Office365: 

    To prevent that data is not synchronized and stored on private PC, please continue reading below. 

  • How to prevent synchronization in OneDrive 

    If you have already installed Office365 (applications), then it is likely that all data in your OneDrive is being synchronized to your machine automatically. What do you do then? There are some settings that easily make sure to disable certain folders in OneDrive from being synchronized, so they are only available in the cloud. Follow these steps to ensure the relevant data is not stored on private PC: 

    1. Find the blue OneDrive symbol in the icon menu on the bottom part of your screen to the right. 
    2. Click on Help & Settings. Then continue to Settings. 
    3. A narrow window with OneDrive account information will display. This reveals what locations and accounts are synchronizing. Click on “Choose folders”. Disable the folder that includes yellow data which shall not be synchronized. 

    If you are in doubt as for what can be classified as yellow data, see examples below. 

    Examples on yellow data

    Yellow data can for example be: 

    • Bachelor’s-/Master’s thesis (with personal information, unless they do not include categories of personal information) 
    • Transcriptions of interviews where there is no talk of categories of personal information 
    • Datafiles from work in laboratory 
    • Tasks you do not want to share with others 
    • Exam answers 
    • CV / Work interviews 
    • Phone numbers of students 
  • Storage of audio recordings 

    Do you need to store audio recordings in connection with assignments and research? 

    Read: Get started with audio recordings 

  • Can I store my data encrypted and work with these on my own computer? 

    According to the storage guide at OsloMet, under Storage on equipment> USB flash drive/External hard drive (encrypted), you can store yellow data on, for example, an encrypted hard drive. 

    If you are working from a private computer, it is required that you are disconnected from the internet (both wired and Wi-Fi/wireless) during the time you are working with the files, because the encryption only applies when the file is unopened. 

    The risk that something might go wrong, either by having the files cached in a location where they are synchronized to an external cloud service, shared with the machine’s own memory, or shared with other people and so on, is always present. 

    There lies a great responsibility for you as a student to ensure that you do things the right way with this method. 

    Talk to your supervisor if working from an encrypted disc is considered the only or best solution for your work. It is your supervisor’s responsibility to ensure that you receive adequate assistance in choosing a method. 
    Check OsloMet’s own page for storing and sending files encrypted. 

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