Various services are available for storing and sharing files securely.

Find out more about the different storage services that are available to you:

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    Departmental filestores help — Shared files in departmental filestores are accessible via PC's on campus (normally via the P:, R:, S: and T: Drives respectively) and from off campus (using the VPN). Files are shared with departmental colleagues.
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    LU Box help — provides secure cloud storage. Files are accessible from anywhere via the web, mobile apps and on your PC or Mac using Box Sync. Files may optionally be shared with other members of the university and external parties.
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    Personal filestore (H drive) help — A 10GB personal filestore is available to store your files on site at Lancaster University. Files are accessible via PC's on campus (via the H: Drive) and from off campus (using the VPN). Files are accessible only to you.
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    Research filestores help — available for projects with specific requirements for large amounts of local, high speed storage. Files are accessible via PC's on campus and from off campus (using the VPN). Data may optionally be shared with colleagues.

We recommend that files are stored using the above University services which are backed up and secure. Don't store files on USB drives or on the hard drive of your PC, as these are not backed up.

Frequently asked questions

 What are the features of the different storage services?

Access via:


File Sharing



PC on campus

 PC off campusMobile AppWeb
LU BoxYesYesYesYesYes (anyone)1TB
Personal FilestoreYesYes (VPN needed)NoNo



Departmental Filestores (Staff only)YesYes (VPN needed)NoNoYes (dept. only)Depending on requirements

 All services provide resilient storage, with the ability to recover deleted files within a minimum of 30 days. 

 Where should I store my files?

 Where should I store my research data?

We recommend that your store your research data using University services that are backed up and secure (e.g Research filestore). In a few exceptional cases a local backup solution may be appropriate - please make a request to the ISS Service Desk for further advice on this.

Use the tool below for some quick advice on where to store your data. For more detailed guidance, see the library's advice on Research Data Management planning.

 Where can I find information about the security of different storage services?

Based on information classifications, you can ascertain what level of protection is required when storing information for the purpose of Information Security.

There are a number of methods available for you to use the choice of the storage method would depend on the information classification and circumstances (e.g. whether it is paper based information, whether your department has any extra rules/regulations that you need to consider etc.)

The table below summarises some possible storage methods, depending on information classification. There is further information about what cloud services are/are not permitted to use for University data on Security of data and information.

Mobile/ External storage deviceAcceptableEncryption 
required (FIPS 140-2 compliant)
Personal / Departmental filestoreAcceptableAcceptable, with restricted access
LU Box*

Acceptable, special category personal data (sensitive personal) must be encrypted before upload as Box is stored in USA

University Office 365 services e.g. OneDriveAcceptable, including special category personal data (sensitive personal)
Other CloudAcceptableEncryption
Personal data NOT permitted in other cloud providers
Paper based documentsUnlocked storageLocked storage recommendedLocked storage required

* Files that you share or access in LU Box can be downloaded to other devices by default. Most of the time that’s likely to be what is wanted, but in some cases (e.g. for confidential, restricted and personal data) you may wish to disable download.

 How do I disable downloading files on LU Box?

Files that you share or access in LU Box can be downloaded to other devices by default. Most of the time that’s likely to be what is wanted, but in some cases (e.g. for confidential, restricted and personal data) you may wish to disable download.

Files that you share
To prevent a file that you share being downloaded from LU Box you can:

  • Set Invitee permissions to prevent collaborators downloading files from a folder; and/or
  • Set Shared link permissions to prevent a shared file being downloaded.

To set these permissions, see Preventing the download of LU Box files to devices.

Files that you access
If you access files from LU Box, and you use Box Sync, you may be unintentionally downloading files to the device you’re using. To prevent this, you can turn off automatic synchronization of a folder, see Box Sync installation and help.

Note that you are responsible for the security of data that you store, share and access in cloud services such as LU Box, and should take particular care when working with confidential, restricted and personal data.

 Can I use these services to store my personal files?

You are allowed to store personal files in your personal filestore (H: Drive) and in LU Box. This might include photos and documents. There are some best practice guidelines below.

  • Do not store any files locally on your computer (on the C: Drive on a Windows PC). They are likely to be lost in the event of PC failure, and may not be securely stored.

  • Ensure files are only stored in your personal filestore or LU Box - don't store personal files in the departmental filestore.

  • If you store files in LU Box, create a separate folder for them and ensure it is not shared. Also consider whether you want to sync it using Box sync - you can disable this on a folder-by-folder basis.

  • Ensure adherence with relevant copyright and other laws with any stored materials.


Online course

File Storage & Sharing Using LU Box 

Face-to-face sessions

View more sessions