We all want to keep our data safe and secure, but there are several aspects to this which you should consider to have confidence that your data is as safe as it can be.
Files can be lost accidentally in many different ways. Even if they are not lost completely, they can occasionally become corrupted. If a file is severely corrupted it may be unusable, but even subtle corruption may introduce errors which go unnoticed while affecting the outcome of your research.
See storage and servers (log in to intranet) for further information including information about backing up data held on user controlled computers and file servers.
In many cases, you may wish to restrict access to your data to a specific list of individuals. This might be because it is commercially sensitive to you or an industrial partner, or includes sensitive personal information covered by the Data Protection Act.
If you are collecting or using research data about individuals, you should read the University's Data Protection guidance(log in to intranet to view), which includes information about academic research.
An often-overlooked aspect of data safety is ensuring that it remains usable. Students and staff arrive and leave on a regular basis, and often it can seem easier to repeat a whole set of expensive experiments rather than try to understand data left behind by researchers who have left the university.